Root Cause vs. Innovation

May 07 2017
By: Terry L. Mathis

When an accident happens, we MUST do a root-cause study to find out what went wrong! Right? Well, what if nothing went wrong, but was wrong in the first place? This is not a criticism of root-cause analysis but a qualification of exactly what it is. We tend to assume an accident is a problem to be fixed,Root Cause vs. Innovation but fixing is often just returning things to their previous state. Some accidents happened precisely because of the previous state and what's needed is innovation, not problem solving.

Continue to perform root-cause analysis, but don't be blinded to other opportunities to transform safety. Some transformational opportunities are discovered other places than the bottom of causal chains.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.

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