Build resilient systems at scale
October 12–14, 2015 • New York, NY

People screw up - and it happens all the time

Todd Conklin (Los Alamos National Lab)
9:00am–10:30am Monday, 10/12/2015
Location: Nassau Suite
Average rating: ****.
(4.81, 31 ratings)
Slides:   1-PPTX 

Prerequisite Knowledge

Systems understanding


This presentation will discuss the interface between human operators and organizational systems. Sounds a bit dry and unimportant, but in fact this thinking is both interesting and rapidly changing. Highly reliable operations have had to learn to become highly reliable. This journey has been both informative and interesting for systems designers, system operations, and systems users.

The discussions as a part of this presentation will bring to the forefront of our thinking the serious impact that some very traditional cognitive bias has held over our notion of what makes a system good or bad. In part, we must redefine our definition of what success looks like. Is a reliable system a system without failure?

You might be surprised by how much bias we all carry, around our idea of what is successful and what is a failure. This discussion helps redefine these definitions.

Photo of Todd Conklin

Todd Conklin

Los Alamos National Lab

Todd Conklin spent 25 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a senior advisor for organizational and safety culture. Los Alamos National Laboratory is one of the world’s foremost research and development laboratories; Dr. Conklin has been working on the human performance program for the last 15 years of his 25-year career. It is in this fortunate position that he enjoys the best of both the academic world and the world of safety in practice. Conklin holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from the University of New Mexico. He speaks all over the world to executives, groups, and work teams who are interested in better understanding the relationship between workers in the field and an organization’s systems, processes, and programs. Conklin defines safety at his workplace like this: “Safety is the ability for workers to be able to do work in a varying and unpredictable world.” Conklin lives in Santa Fé, New Mexico and thinks that Human Performance is the most meaningful work he has ever had the opportunity to live and teach.

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