Human Factors at The Oscars

It has variously been described as “an incredible and almost unbelievable gaffe” (Radio Times), “the greatest mistake in Academy Awards history” (Telegraph), “an extraordinary blunder…an unprecedented error” (ITV News), “the most spectacular blunder in the history of the starry ceremony” and “the most awkward, embarrassing Oscar moment of all time: an extraordinary failure” (Guardian). It was, of course, the Grand Finale of the Oscars 2017.

The Varieties of Human Work

The analysis of work cannot be limited to work as prescribed in procedures etc (le travail prescrit), nor to the observation of work actually done (le travail réalisé). Similarly, it cannot be limited to work as we imagine it, nor work as people talk about it. Only by considering all four of these varieties of human work can we hope to understand what’s going on.

Never/zero thinking

There has been much talk in recent years about ‘never events’ and ‘zero harm’, similar to talk in the safety community about ‘zero accidents’. It sounds obvious: no one would want an accident. And we all wish that serious harm would not result from accidents. But as expressed and implemented top-down, never/zero is problematic for many reasons. In this post, I shall outline just a few, as I see them.