The 4-hour discussion was prompted by two Root Cause Analyses that were presented by their Principal Investigators (PI's) to a group of 30 people who had just gone through 4 days of Root Cause Analysis training. Amongst the trainees were operators, maintenance people, technical resources, and managers. The recently-trained people were surprised at what was presented by the trained PI's, and especially at their answers to some of their questions.
As the PI's listened to the criticism, they became a bit emotional. After being more-or-less attacked by the recently-trained group, one of the PI's stood up and said:
The impassioned plea from the PI's lasted about 30 minutes. The essence of their argument was that management is not interested in truly understanding why things go wrong. They're too focused on goals and objectives. They're going fast, and they want to go faster. After they finished their rebuttal, about 25 of the attendees loudly applauded!!!!
As I said, managers were in attendance. They had been part of the 4-day training. One of them was a Plant Manager. Sitting in silence, listening first to the attacks and then to the PI's as they defended themselves, and finally after hearing the applause, the Plant Manager asked a pointed question:
The group's response was interesting. One fellow tried to explain WHY it was important to slow down. Another person said "you shouldn't have to ask that question because you've taken the same training as us!" Another suggested that "slowing down is a matter of attitude, more than it is action."
As I listened to the Plant Manager's question, and then the attendees answers I tried to put myself in her shoes. I immediately understood. What DO we mean when we ask each other to slow down? Why do we always expect the OTHER person to do the "slowing down" instead of asking ourselves the same question?