vrijdag 21 september 2018
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 impending doom but the inability to persuade anyone to believe her. Her ability to pierce the barriers of space and time to see the future showed her the fiery fall of her beloved city, but the people of Troy ridiculed and disregarded her. She descended into madness and ultimately became one of the victims of the tragedy she foretold.
So, there you have it. Information, even perhaps of negligible value, still has to be used when decisions are made. Not allowing parts of it, will alter outcome beyond control. (Butterfly Effect). Ulteriorly motivated suppression of information, i.e. predictions based on science, but also by those who are able to foresee things, directly destabilises intended results and make them 'uncontrollable'. Cassandra knew this as do many philosophers who ask 'ALL' questions and can reliably synthesise what is going to happen next. We now observe a global elite, politically and financially interdependent that tries to ignore information and hunts down or even stifles or jails Cassandras who do perhaps contradict centrally planned stealth goals. I foresee and you may quote me: This will end in disaster, because I can predict catastrophe by epistemological knowledge using systems science and cybernetics. Same applies for Hazardous Cargo Industries. HSE and Risk can only be prevented by using all information and by listening to Cassandras. Perhaps Cassandra was an early cybernetician? I feel she certainly was a ‘systems thinker’. If you know Cassandra, please listen to her?
maandag 27 augustus 2018
TERMINAL MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL
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 states to the system grow at an exponential rate. Within complex environments, our traditional analytical methods for modelling the future – that depends on probability and statistics – break down. In response you need to invest more in understanding these broader trends. TTT teaches terminals how to respond and function within a wider range of possible states in order to maintain stability and prosperity.
HSE, knowledge, insight, awareness, skill, control, efficiency, time, to name just a few, are the necessary foundations for tank terminal management and marine operations. It all comes down to be able to control and steer the terminal’s complexity through information feedback.
This highly interactive and practical course will assist bulk liquid marine storage terminals in achieving a competitive advantage by having an effective and well-managed operation. This will ensure your operational processes and workforce perform up to the highest standards and expectations.
We now offer a risk mapping tool that proves that sustainability and balance are in the best interest of both producer and user (client or buyer) and every stakeholder involved.
Our service is to measure and map risks and advise organizations with scientific argumentation to always allow for ‘relevant' information. It means that stability and long term continuity of a business relation between two or more parties can only be achieved by constantly adjusting course and using updated information. So, if for example information about the danger of a certain chemical product is not disclosed, the organization selling it will become instable and vulnerable as well as the buyer or user. Therefore, it is in both parties mutual benefit to allow that all 'feedback' loops are shared and connected. If a feedback loop (withholding info) is severed on purpose (lying, denial) or from unawareness, a business or political model becomes uncontrollable and unsustainable. This reality applies to everything; politics, business, including the scientific community if it refuses objective and subjective insight. Reality is real and can only flourish within natural boundaries of functionality or as I have coined it ‘Realimiteit; within limits of reality’ . Rules can become guidelines. Only value driven creativity is sustainable. This means that business ethics and corporate social responsibility are just information too which one cannot afford to ignore as they are necessary to steer and maintain a sustainable course.
woensdag 4 juli 2018
Chaos & the Butterfly Effect.
When one observes the entropic, disorderly world around us, we often call it chaotic, coming from the word chaos, which from Greek, actually means ‘emptiness or nothingness of the universe, from which the Gods emerged.’ When we use entropy, meaning disorder’ we arrive automatically at the expression to describe our world as being in chaos which we all can watch in the daily news. Author James Gleick, who wrote a mind altering book named ‘Chaos, the third scientific revolution’, described Chaos Theory as a way to understand that our world is not as predictable nor as controllable as mechanistic, empirical, so called linear sciences, determine. In fact, it is the opposite of linearity which is non-linearity which I wanted to mention in this column. Our businesses, industries or organisations are often created as linear systems based on linear cause and effect expectations only. They are built along mathematical and modelling or Newtonian laws of physics. When something happens, we actually believe that when we just write more regulations, our system can be controllable again. But this is a false idea. We do have to realise that non-linearity could be causing unexpected and non-controllable effects. Now, to understand this, we’d have to understand that so-called dynamic living systems, such as our organisations, can always be affected by tiny fluctuations which can lead to enormous consequences. Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect? When a butterfly flaps its wings in China, a thunderstorm in America can be the result. When Edward Lorenz, a mathematician by learning and a meteorologist by passion tried to use deterministic computer modelling to predict the weather in a linear fashion, he was surprised that the outcomes of his research looked very different then what his computer had attempted to compute. Predictions according to universal laws of physics gave very different results, namely that tiny errors in calculations led to enormous errors. The experiment proved that any cause, direct or indirect, would interfere with reality. The assumption that small influences could be ignored ended. Systems Theory confirmed that everything is related with everything else.
Now, apply this insight to your organisation or company. When you see a truck driver park in the wrong manner to load a cargo, or you watch an operator doing the wrong thing, or understand that you did not sleep too much or that the food in the cafeteria is inedible or that the heating coils of shore tank number 3 are not working properly, but that you are pumping it out anyway because a customer demands it…. You will now have to think about the Butterfly Effect and accept that it is real and that ignoring it could lead to entropy and chaos. You may now ask: ‘But how can we control it then?’ Well, you can’t. But what you can do is to use ‘Cybernetics’, with which you can build maximum resilience and variety into your system. Stephen Hawkins was trying all his life to create a ‘Theory of Everything’. He understood why.
woensdag 11 april 2018
At the Rotterdam Stoc Expo in March 2018 conference speakers introduced several methods to control and prevent HSE and operational risks. One spoke about the latest version of PGS 29 which was updated, because new risks were encountered and had to be included. Impressive charts in Excel showed how health, safety and compliance managers had been able to improve safety standards, but they had to admit that ‘Human Factors’, which cause 80% of incidents, were not easy to influence or change.
During the last years, TTT experimented with testing, not only human factors such as psychological biases or character flaws, but the manner people interact, communicate and share information. We started to learn about the value of information. We mimicked nature and looked at the way all living systems communicate and replicated this method to create our unique measurement and mapping tool. The measurement method was developed in cooperation with the Creazene Institute in Switzerland. It was invented with the purpose to predict and map vulnerabilities in corporations, organisations or institutions which are in fact ‘living systems of communication.’ Using the tool we look at day to day operational risks and HSE management and are now able to predict and therefore prevent incidents.
By a combination of scientific tools, cybernetics and systems sciences, we created this capability which exactly shows potential risks and vulnerabilities of organisations.
This goes way beyond compliance and regulations from the outside, which are usually too late and are implemented only after something bad has happened. It is a well known fact that enforcement of regulations, rules or compliance impair an organization’ functioning.
It is about how an organisation, company, storage terminal or refinery or any other organisation, even political, communicates. We work with information feedback loops to create syntheses (observing and measurement of all interdependent relationships) of operations and management systems and use the results to draw maps. These so-called feedback loops maps directly expose, show and predict risks before they could become incidents or accidents.
When the maps show communicative connectedness with all stakeholders, the organisation’s operations are considered stable, balanced and manageable. If they do not show communicative connectedness, the organisation is at risk. Potential risks or vulnerabilities will become evident and we train organisations how to eliminate these by teaching about the sciences behind the tool. It works incredibly well. It could even become scary when one looks at such maps and directly understands where and what vulnerabilities are present. It works as an alarm system and enhances operational excellence.
We offer to synthesize your operations and management systems.
That is done in 2 phases:
1. Operational observation
2. Verification of ‘stakeholder' communication systems (internal and external)
We offer a comprehensive training program about this capability. The first public courses are planned for August 16-17, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur and September 13-14, 2018 in Zurich. The course is also offered as an in-house training program anywhere in the world.