Information = Energy

Energy and information obey the same laws of physics like everything else. Information is the energy to create order and structure, not only in the cosmos, but in organisations, business, politics, body and mind. Therefore, our training programs are based on information theory and cybernetics, because without using all relevant feedback a system is not able to learn and can’t be adapting in real time. This is a major breakthrough and is used by us as a non linear Risk Management tool of Complex Systems. The erasure, denial, ignoring of information increases disorder (entropy). Information reduces uncertainty. Just look at our world today and you understand why it is in chaos.
Training your people will then become much easier; we can ask 'do you have enough information to manage and control your operations? We can determine what is there and understand what is needed?
This makes training much more effective.

Why are we behaving the way we do?

I’d like to tell you something about behavioural safety. As a professional trainer in our industry I developed a two-day course called BBS, Behaviour Based Safety, which in fact is a voyage into oneself. The course concentrates on self-reflection and psychology because students don’t often ask themselves why they behave in a certain, sometimes dangerous manner. Neither do they often realise that stress can lead to narrowmindedness. Ethics is a condition for safety, because it means ‘doing the right thing.’ But what happens when someone who believes he is doing the right thing is doing it wrong? People are not flawless, they make mistakes or perceive situations differently. A good start is to understand ourselves and specifically our own brain. Different parts of the brain have different responses to decision making. Understanding that people actually have three brains might help. 1. If the decision has to do with what is perceived as danger, the first, Reptilian brain will respond fa…

Mind the learning gap

During the last eight years I have trained many marine tank storage operators on how to control the ship/shore interface and achieve operational excellence. The first thing I do is ask a simple question: are you really in control? After that I ask them ten relevant questions. Too often I come to the conclusion that full control has not yet been achieved. To control any operational or management system, the first part is to become aware about the risks and vulnerabilities of the operational system. What I observe is what is called ‘compartmentalisation’. People tend to focus on a part (their task) of the organisation. Operators do the operators’ job, loading masters theirs or management ‘manages’.  People usually look at ‘parts’ because they don’t understand the ‘whole’. If I train them to understand how the whole system should work, amazing results are achieved. I show them that if feedback (information about their responsibilities) is shared and communicated, the operations can be c…

Training, reading, learning by feedback

Training, reading, learning by feedback 01 FEB 2019 Share  What is in store for us this year? Can we predict what will happen? Yes we can, and no we can’t would be the right answer. As I wrote some columns ago, when we want to predict the future, we become Cassandras. She was able to foresee what would be happening merely by looking at all the facts, the circumstances, information, capabilities and intentions – but she was inevitably ignored. Our industry can also foresee that its operations and manufacturing systems can be maximally controlled by using ‘all’ information, i.e. by feedback. Training and education is what I do. I have always been very interested in companies and their employees who are somehow unwilling to read and therefore also unwilling to learn. They are making the same errors over and over, because facts are easily forgotten, overlooked or purposefully ignored because they hinder a pre-set goal. Training and constant learning are therefore requisites for any organi…

Star Stuff

Last week I drove back from Rotterdam to my home town in Switzerland. When I reached the Vosges Mountains in the vicinity of Strasbourg, a dense fog covered the valley as if an ocean of cotton protected the land underneath. The sun appeared in the east as it was dawning. I was thinking: the sun warms us, this blanket of clouds protects us and I could not help a sudden thought from entering my mind that we are probably alone in this universe. Our lives, work and loves have to be lived on this earth, which provides us all we need to live well, but only if we stay in harmony with her. 92 elements in a multitude of combinations form all life, even yours and mine. Cosmologists confirm that these elements originate from stars in the universe and somehow ended up on our planet, which miraculously happened to be exactly in the right position. We are literally made up from star stuff, or stardust if you will. The sun that warms us, clothes us and provides us with the necessary means to surviv…

The Cassandra Effect

The Cassandra Effect
I just read an interesting article written by Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy called; 'Why visionaries who can accurately predict looming disasters are often ignored’.
I could not help feeling touched by this article as it exactly confirmed what I am experiencing myself. I have been writing this column and my blog for some years now, but despite the truthfulness and predictions based on logic and empirical research, most of what I write seems to be ignored. The column I write for Hazardous Cargo Bulletin and my publications on LinkedIn are well researched. I trained myself as a cybernetician and a systems scientists, because by combining these scientifically sound insights, I can predict looming disasters. I even developed a measurement or mapping tool to do this. It measures the so-called limitations of reality which I coined; Realimiteit.
The authors wrote: Cassandra was a beautiful princess of Troy cursed by the god Apollo. He gave her the ability to foresee im…

Oil and Gas Terminal Management & Control Training Program


A marine storage terminal is a complex living system. Interaction with all stakeholders is a challenge. Complying to an ever growing number of rules, regulations and guidelines needs a control system which is manageable. We created a new management learning program that focuses on this concept: ‘information reduces uncertainty’ by using systems science. This is a unique approach developed after much research to understand how complex systems behave and generate risk. Management when focusing on effectivity using technical, economic or operational skills only, does not suffice anymore due to the enormous complexity of responsibilities and uncertainty which is the inability to know everything fully. Uncertainty is a fundamental property of complex systems primarily due to, a large number of elements, high interconnectivity, interdependence, nonlinear interactions and coevolution. Feedback loops during a system’s development make the space of possible future…