HOPLAB Resources

Interested in expanding your knowledge and understanding of Human and Organizational Performance? You have come to the right place. Browse the bank of resources and subscribe to the HOPLAB channels to keep up to date as new content is added to our learning library.

HOP Videos

HOP Articles

Books & Podcasts

HOP Videos

Thought leaders share their insights on HOP – from fundamentals to concepts and practices – in these short, informative videos.

Watch more Videos on the HOPLAB Channel

HOP Articles

Take a deep dive into how HOP happens with these insightful articles that explore the phases, tools and learnings that shape the HOP philosophy.

Books & Podcasts

Grow your HOP knowledge further with these thought-provoking books and podcasts, recommended by HOPLAB.

Books we recommend

Podcasts we recommend

Looking for quick answers?

HOP thought leaders provide their insights to commonly asked questions.

Black line thinking is synonymous with planned work – the way we imagine or intend for work to be undertaken based upon the information available to us at the outset of the task. It is not, as is commonly misconstrued, a line of perfection. There may indeed be assumptions, latent conditions or presumptions that will give rise to failure or error. Instead it is a baseline against which variation can be observed.

The blue line represents this variation by illustrating the way work is actually carried out at the ‘sharp end’ against the linearity of planned work. Therefore blue lines show the real-time adaption of front-line operations to the dynamic and complex realities of work.

Transpower New Zealand adopted a Learning Team approach to the painting of transmission towers after consulting with Craig Marriott. View the Case Study here. http://www.zeroharm.org.nz/case-studies/transpower/

People need to understand the value of the rules and why they are there before they will follow them. Asking if we need rules for certain things is critical for progress.

Through the use of dialogue and generative practice, HOP moves the discussion from metrics of outcomes and empirical observation, to the aspects of work that matter most to frontline staff, to the issues that have yet to develop into crises or disasters by virtue of workers diligence and resourcefulness in adapting working practices to the dynamic and complex environments they are subject to.

HOP doesn’t reject outright the efficacy of empirical observations associated with traditional safety philosophies. Indeed the use of trending data has, and continues to play, a crucial role in organisational intelligence. Instead, HOP works on challenging our assumptions in these metrics by inviting us to explore the way work is really done, particularly where trending data leads to performance improvements in low consequence events such as papercuts, at the cost of the ongoing validation and appraisal of the assumptions underpinning the risk analysis of high consequence undertakings.

The BP or Deepwater Horizon disaster is such an example where a reliance upon metrics alone facilitated a decoy phenomenon that saw resources being allocated in response to trending data at the expense of validating the assumptions underpinning work as imagined.”

Human and Organisational Performance is a paradigmatic shift from traditional linear and componential understandings of safety and performance; such that safety and performance are emergent properties of interactions between multiple parts of a system, not the attributes of the particular parts. HOP is thus a movement or perspective and not a framework; an alternative lens through which to observe and make sense of the world around us, by exploring these interactions, interdependencies and reductionist assumptions.

HOP is certainly not restricted to big business. Many SMEs have adopted the practice with great success, particularly those operating in dynamic and adaptive environments.

HOP’s success lies in bringing an organisations’ imagined idea of work into closer alignment with how it is actually performed. For large organisations with complicated hierarchal structures, there is in inherent gap of distance and time between frontline operations and senior decision makers. For many smaller organisations however, this gap of distance and time can arise for reasons other than organisational tiering, such as dynamic and fast changing operations, remote undertakings, or insufficient understanding of frontline operations. The HOP approach is highly effective therefore in organisations of differing sizes, industries, and maturity.

The topic of error has for many years been closely aligned with discussions of blame; however international research has increasingly shown that such determinations are merely a social act in response to error, restricting the opportunities to understand, learn and develop. To err is thus a natural human response to the environmental, social and cognitive conditions that require decisions to be made under uncertainty, it is so innate to our functioning that we build error recovery into everything from keyboards with their delete and backspace buttons, to car air bag systems that protect against not only our own error, but that of others.

HOP works in two ways to address error, firstly by treating error as the starting point for learning and development, not the endpoint or ‘root’ cause; and second, by examining and validating the underlying assumptions of work as imagined through dialogic techniques, such that errors in our assumptions are allowed to surface through inquiry, and where uncertainty prevails, that sufficient capacity is provided to enable the operation and organisation to be resilient, to fail safely.

The goal of the HOPLAB is to help organisations and individuals to learn and reflect

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