Seminar Instructors: Marlone Henderson, PhD & Mike Legatt, PhD

Next Run: February 24, 2017

This course provides you with core scientific principles from psychology and engineering to help you better understand what human error is, and ways of building barriers to keep errors from turning into major events. This seminar is helpful for people at all organizational levels and positions. The tools provided will empower participants to reduce error, both in their organizations and their personal lives.

Human Error: Engineering it Away


We live in a world that is growing in complexity. As this complexity grows and rote tasks are increasingly automated, we rely more on humans to understand the big picture and make good decisions that reduce risks, increase productivity, improve political relationships, and boost the overall bottom line. Our organizational missions simply cannot succeed without human ingenuity. 

However, we also know that humans make at least 3 mistakes (usually 5-7) every hour that they are awake, increasing to 11-15 per hour under extreme stress or fatigue. How can we help the humans in our organizations to be more reliable now and more resilient in the future? How do we engineer our organizations, our procedures, and our cultures in a way that maximizes the benefits of having humans in our system, and mitigates the risks of those same humans making errors? How can we maintain those benefits as our world gets more complex and complicated?

This course provides you with core scientific principles from psychology and engineering to help you better understand what human error is, and ways of building barriers to keep errors from turning into major events. This seminar is helpful for people across sectors and at all organizational levels. The tools provided will empower participants to reduce error, both in their organizations and their personal lives.
Five key lessons covered in this course are:

  • What is human error? How do we understand different types of human error, and understand different types of risky behaviors? How do organizations’ typical responses to human errors increase the chances errors will happen again?

  • Organizational culture and human error: How does the makeup of an organization determine how likely human errors will occur? How do we incorporate the latest lessons in positive psychology to build better organizational approaches – both reducing error risk and improving productivity? How do we take shortcuts in thinking that increase our own chances of making errors, and how do we resist those tendencies?

  • Social dynamics, situation awareness, and human error: How do we increase the chances that we’ll continue to behave in ways that reduce error? This unit focuses on how the ways we understand our social world and process information affect the propensity for human errors.

  • Fatigue, diet, exercise and human error: This unit covers all the ways “you are what you eat” – the relationship between our food and our bodies, and how human errors are affected by fatigue, social contact with others, and attempts to multitask.

  • High-Reliability Organization (HRO) practices in reducing human error: This unit covers the ways that organizations and individuals can follow proven techniques for drastically reducing both the chances and the severity of human errors. These tools have been quite successful in aviation, space travel, healthcare, nuclear power, electricity, fire fighting, and a variety of other sectors.

Human Error: Engineering it Away

Location: UT Austin Campus
Date: February 24, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Seminar Pricing
Seminar Fee Includes:
  • Course Registration
  • Parking
  • WiFi Access
  • Lunch 
  • Refreshments
  • Course Materials

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If you have questions prior to registering, please see our Professional Training FAQ or contact Lewis Miller, HDO's Marketing Coordinator, at lewismiller@utexas.edu / 512-232-8330.

Marlone Henderson received his B.S. from Michigan State University in 1999, Ph.D. from New York University in 2006, and joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 2006 before arriving at UT in 2008. Dr. Henderson's research has one major objective: to understand the role that basic cognitive processes play in promoting social harmony. Specifically, most of his research explores how situational factors that shift individuals’ thinking to a lower (more concrete) or higher (more abstract) level can have important consequences in the domains of 1) social conflict, 2) social judgments, and 3) prosocial behavior.

Dr. Henderson's work employs a combination of laboratory and field designs, both of which emphasize experimental procedures that allow for causal interpretation of data. A second, defining feature of his research is that most of it seeks to have an immediate, practical impact on society, while staying grounded in a strong theoretical foundation. He subscribes wholeheartedly to Kurt Lewin’s suggestion that “There is nothing so practical as a good theory.”


Mike Legatt Michael E. Legatt is the CEO and founder of ResilientGrid, Inc., whose mission is to grow resilient infrastructures by optimizing the human side of the infrastructure management, including situational awareness, decision making support and collaboration tools in normal and emergency operations, and in fostering the kinds of organizational culture (high reliability, just culture) that empower humans to work more efficiently and effectively, lowering human error rates. Dr. Legatt has been a programmer for over 25 years, and worked in the energy, financial, medical, neuroscience research and educational sectors. He has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical health psychology/neuropsychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees in energy systems engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a Certified Performance Technologist.

Prior to founding ResilientGrid, Michael spent ten years as the principal human factors engineer for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the flow of electricity to over 24 million Texas customers, about 90% of Texas’ load. There, his development of the Macomber Map® has been featured in the New York Times, National Public Radio, T&D World, and Forbes. The Macomber Map was credited as being instrumental in helping ERCOT operators maintain grid reliability during several record-setting wind generation levels since 2010, and through several severe weather events since 2009.

As an amateur (ham) radio operator, he received a commendation for helping to provide emergency communications during the 2003 blackout in the northeastern United States, which sparked his interest in the psychology of energy management. He works to support the growth of the industry’s high-reliability organizational culture, and to reduce human error by helping to optimize human-computer interactions, supporting improved situation awareness, decision support, processing speed, and stress management. At ERCOT, his development of the Macomber Map® has been featured in The New York Times, National Public Radio, Forbes and T&D World. The Macomber Map was credited as being instrumental in helping ERCOT operators maintain grid reliability during several record-setting wind generation levels since 2010, and through several severe weather events since 2009.
The majority of participants in our Seminars and Certificate Programs are mid- and upper-level professionals working in the business, nonprofit, government, or military sectors; however, professionals at all levels of experience are welcome to participate. There are no prerequisites for enrolling in an HDO Professional Seminar.

While all HDO Seminars are developed with wide-ranging applicability in mind, the following individuals and groups will likely find Human Error: Engineering it Away most directly relevant to their work:

  • Senior/Executive Leadership
  • Middle Management
  • New or First-Time Managers
  • Team Leaders & Supervisors
  • Human Resources/Recruiting Directors & Managers
  • Quality Assurance and Risk Management Professionals
For participants coming in for seminars from outside the Austin area, there are several hotels near campus, many within walking distance. HDO recommends the following hotels:

HDO works with these many of these venues on a regular basis. If you need assistance selecting a hotel, please contact Jessica Crawford, HDO's Senior Administrative Associate at 512-232-7343 or jessica.crawford@austin.utexas.edu.

On-campus parking is covered for all participants for the day of their seminar. For transit information, please visit Capital Metro's website.
 

As a professional, I don’t always have time for continuing education, and frankly, much of it goes ‘in one ear and out the other.’ HDO seminars are different. Not only do they provide an invigorating and inspiring experience, you learn tangible, applicable, and very relevant tools and techniques to apply to your everyday life.

– Rachel Fox, Senior IT Manager, Hewlett-Packard (HP)

 

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