I Didn’t Do It, He Did — I Didn’t Do It Either, Someone Else Did

Snow storm attacks a rural road

“When converted into productive thought and action, the energy it takes to blame, shame, and game is enough to launch anyone into heights of real success and happiness.”

 – Charles F Glassman


It is not often that an entire geographically LARGE state loses power and water simultaneously.  Now we know it can happen!  Welcome to Texas (ERCOT) circa the dawn of the 21st Century.

The finger pointing and claims, ‘not my responsibility’ surfaced immediately at all political levels.  As I sat in my power free, cold, waterless house, I was moved that political leadership was focused on saving their own hides.

Benjamin Franklin’s words, “We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately” are lost on our hyper partisan world.  Earth to all polls, there is enough blame on this one to go around.  This society loves to Share and Like and is quick to find fault.

The usual suspects will pontificate about blaming others and legal initiatives have already surfaced.  Good media, but who actually cares?

This blog post is not about politics or the blame game.  It rather posits a solution that sees that this never happens again–anywhere.

Operational Excellence Platform

Excellent performance requires a conscious effort at all levels of an organization and its ecosystem.  We embodied a approach for heavy industry in our 2012 article, High Reliability Management in Process Industries: Sustained by Human Factors.  In that piece we put forth the argument that High Reliability Management is a strong methodology for management large complex systems such as the Texas Electric Power Grid.  HRM provides organizations with Agility, Resiliency and Sustainability in the face of large complex incidents.

As we have previously put forth, Normal Accident Theory (NAT) posits, “that some accidents are inevitable because of system complexity.”  While logical, this model has its critics and lacks empirical evidence.

The Texas electricity power grid got into process/technological/engineering trouble rather quickly.  Debate will rage for years as to what actually happened.  However, it seems practitioners at all levels practiced NAT.  Like Deepwater Horizon, this event did not have to happen.

Safety Culture

At the core of High Impact Performance is a strong safety culture.

Systemic Safety Culture as the Core Set of Values and Behavioral Economics of ALL participants of the extended organization and its Enterprise Risk Management strategy that reflect a Strong Bond Governance commitment to behaving as a High Reliability Enterprise Ecosystem in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Going Forward

The over used phrase, ‘teachable moment’ suggests that we learn from our history so as not to repeat it.  Most likely oxen will be gored, witch hunts abound and the likelihood of little tangible progress will be made.

Career losses will most like exceed the six board members who have already resigned.  All because the reactive NAT model was followed.  One is well advised not to follow this lead.

How are you making sure that your operations processes are proactive?

For More Information

Please note, RRI does not endorse or advocate the links to any third-party materials.  They are provided for education and entertainment only.

For more information on Cross Cultural Engagement, check out our Cross Cultural Serious Game

We presented, Should Cross Cultural Serious Games Be Included in Your Diversity Program: Best Practices and Lessons Learned at the Online Conference, New Diversity Summit 2020 the week of September 14, 2020.  Check Out this timely event and contact the organizer for access to the presentations!!

You can contact this author as well.


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