Mindful Awareness of Internal and External Influences on HRO Leaders: Heuristic Inquiry

Mindful Awareness of Internal and External Influences on HRO Leaders: Heuristic Inquiry

This heuristic inquiry was an exploration of the mindful awareness of internal and external influences on the actions of leaders in High Reliability Organizations (HRO) when faced with dangerous situations so physical and psychological harm can be averted.  HRO leaders require a discriminatory mindfulness to subtle danger signals and cues in complex, high-risk systems to sustain safe and reliable performance (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2007).  In 2013, even      with mindful principles in place, over 300 vital HRO personnel lost their lives in dangerous contexts (DOD, 2015; FBI, 2015; NFPA, 2015).  Conceptually HRO leaders are conscious of subtle present-moment physical and psychological stimuli and cues while making decisions and applying behaviors in dangerous situations.  The specific problem is that unsustained mindful awareness of internal and external cues may lead to severe injury or death of HRO leaders in dangerous contexts.  Thirteen HRO experts in the South Eastern United States with experience leading in dangerous situations were selected from within law enforcement, firefighting, and military domains using purposeful sampling criteria.  Data were collected through semi-structured participant interviews.  Four themes emerged from an analysis of collected data including focus on present moment, consciousness of one’s environments, experiential learning, and reliability-enhancing training.  The themes revealed individual mindfulness development, experiential leadership assignments, and wide-ranging education and training opportunities may enhance cue recognition and sustained mindfulness in dangerous contexts.  The results of this study may prove beneficial to improving individual mindfulness and increasing HRO leader well-being and survivability in dangerous situations

Event Day and Time (AZ/MST timezone): 
August 17, 2018 12:15 pm MST
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