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Complacency: A Optimist's View

Complacency is everywhere.


Because it is a perfectly normal human condition – one we rely on to survive. At an inopportune moment, though, complacency can contribute to disastrous outcomes. In this excerpt from a recent presentation to the National Air Transportation Association Ground Handling Safety Symposium, Dr. Ben Goodheart explores some of the common misconceptions about complacency with a focus on safety and risk, takes a quick look at the brain science behind what complacency is and what it does and concludes with a practical discussion on tools to help defend against complacency.

About the Contributor: Dr. Benjamin Goodheart has been involved in the design of safety systems for high-consequence industries - including aviation, healthcare, utilities, and oil & gas - for over 25 years. Benjamin enjoys working at the interface between people and complex systems, and he thrives in environments that require a balance of science and art. Dr. Goodheart’s work has been recognized by the National Academy of Sciences and cited in work by NASA and others. Ben writes and speaks around the world on topics of safety, resilience, and leadership in organizations where failure can carry an awfully high price.

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