Robservation # 15 – The Importance of “Triggers”

Welcome to another Robservation.

Today I wanted to tell a story from a few years ago that highlights two things. First, don’t exclude people because you don’t think they are in the ‘target audience’ for error reduction and second, is the importance of triggers. In the early 2000’s FIT developed the method of using triggers, or clues to recognize vulnerabilities so that you can do something about it before it drives an error or incident. By recognizing the triggers, you can take action to manage a trap or performance mode in advance of it driving a bad outcome. Triggers have now become a norm in human and organizational performance and effective error management.

My Robservation is that organizations may not always stress the importance of using triggers, the WHY, and therefore they wait too long until the error occurs (or even after) to try to deal with it. Correction or mitigation is always harder than prevention. The leaders and workforce should know the “triggers” and understand how and why they need to deal with them as soon as they are recognized, instead of waiting.

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