My wife, children, family and close friends know that I am an emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve and when I care about someone or something I do so with a passion that can sometimes be seen as a flaw because I say what is on my mind.
What is on my mind today is heartbreaking, tragic and senseless. The scene today Newtown, Connecticut is every parent’s nightmare. As the husband of an Elementary School Teacher I visit my wife’s school several times a year and as I watch the news coverage today between flights I can’t imagine the pain this event has caused for the families of these children and for the people who live and work in this small town.
What angers me most however is as a nation we will deal with this senseless shooting the same way we have all the others in the past. The national media will camp out in Newtown for a few weeks, they will want to meet the heartbroken families, tells us heartbreaking stories about the victims and then delve into the past of the coward who murdered these children speculating as to why he made this tragic choice. Over a period of weeks other world and national events will push what was continuous coverage to a shorter segment later in the newscast and all too soon the tragic events of Newton, Connecticut will become a small segment that runs each year on the date to remind us how time continues to pass.
As a person who has spent the better part of my adult life working with companies to understand and eliminate failures I find myself frustrated that we never seem to ask the difficult questions when something like this occurs. Having someone murder twenty children and six adults in a school building is a failure that as a nation we should be ashamed of and it is high time we address it for what it is.
Those of us who make a living dealing with failures know a few things to be true; if you want to mitigate or eliminate failures you must take the time to identify all of the potential causes. Managing the effects of a failure (Cleaning up spilled oil on coastlines) does absolutely nothing to ensure a failure will not reoccur, and the most difficult failures to resolve are human related, random and sporadic. Most important however is to understand that this failure will continue to occur unless the causes are identified and eliminated. And, every corny saying used by RCA instructors is true in this case.
- If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.
- Albert Einstein, known for being one of the smartest men in history defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
- Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.
I also know a problem or failure will never be resolved unless we first have to discipline to put the right group of people in a room that have the courage to sit down, identify the problem, its causes, and the steps that need to be taken to protect our children and ensure something like this never happens again.
In the early 1300’s a Roman Catholic Philosopher by the name of William of Occam is credited with developing the maxim known as Occam’s Razor. In the most simple terms, Occam’s Razor boils down to the philosophy that the simplest explanation or solution is the best one. A great example of this is the fire triangle, while we can and often do install incredibly complex and expensive fire suppression systems, the simplest and most effective way to protect yourself from fire is make sure one of the following items is not present;
- Fuel Source
- Ignition Source
In regard to today’s awful events we should think not only about this failure and its potential causes, we should think about the shame we all should feel for not protecting these innocent children, the long term consequences this event will have on this town but more important we should look to begin thinking in terms of way Albert Einstein and William of Occam and what they might have done to ensure this problem is forever a part of our past.
So, looking at this failure like in the terms of a fire triangle, what does it take for a school shooting to take place?
- A deranged person or people
- A firearm
- An unsecure school building
Take one of the four items away and the event can’t occur. It’s time to be honest about what really matters and how we plan to ensure the safety of our next generation.
- Audit/ Track
- Failure Finding
- Failure Modes
- Maintenance Planning
- Maintenance Strategy
- Malaysia Flight 370
- Performance Quality
- Predictive Maintenance
- Predictive Techcnologies
- proactive maintenance
- RCM Analysis
- RCM Facilitation
- RCM Facilitator
- RCM Facilitator Training
- RCM Training
- Reactive Maintenance
- Reliability Centered Maintenance
- Reliability Centered Maintenancec
- Reliability Maintenance