Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

How Big a Problem Is Complacency?

At the organizational level, there are plenty of examples that suggest it’s a big problem. NASA’s Challenger and Columbia disasters and industrial accidents like Macondo and LaPorte share complacency as a common element.

But organizations don’t get complacent: it’s people working for the organization who get complacent. While anyone can fall victim, it’s not the least bit difficult to identify those most likely to come down with a serious case of complacency: 

  • Working in organizations with a long string of success
  • Doing things they’ve done hundreds of times before
  • Performing routine duties

Whenever you find yourself in situations like these, take it as a warning indicator: conditions are ripe for complacency.

Do that, and you’ll start to worry, which is the best antidote for complacency. 

Paul Balmert
May 2017

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