Posts

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

Afbeelding
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

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…

Risk Mapping and Sustainable Organisations

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 …

Chaos & the Butterfly Effect

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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.…