Making Sense, Not Decisions: The Need for Experimentation, Not Action at All Organizational Levels

  • March 8, 2021
    11:30 am - 1:00 pm

The expectation of a singular right decision for a given situation made by a person or group with sole authority and responsibility has far reaching consequences and limitations. The promotion of learning and experimentation allow for sensemaking at all levels of the organization and should replace traditional approaches to decision making. To understand this, need for sensemaking and how it can be applied in an organization, the level of complexity within the system must first be identified. From that point, predictability, policy, and adapting through learning can be explored within the understanding of system constraints. These elements then influence the management and leadership provided through that system in support of achieving desired organizational goals. Finally, the amount of control and creativity afforded to those working within the system is dependent on appropriate management and leadership.

Leaders will understand the shortcomings of decision-making models, importance of appropriately identifying the system they are working within, considerations demonstrated by that system, and insight on how they can lead and manage to support creativity, empowerment, learning, and sensemaking by the organization at large.

Wyatt Bradbury serves as a HSE Advisor for Hitachi Rail and is part of the Department of Engineering Faculty and the University of Alabama Birmingham teaching Professional Ethics and Introduction to System Safety for the Advanced Safety Engineering and Management Program. He has experience in aquatic and recreation risk management, electrical construction, powerline safety, rail safety, and safety consulting. Mr. Bradbury holds CSP, CHST, and CIT certifications from the BCSP and a Master of Engineering in Advanced Safety Engineering and Management from the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Wyatt Bradbury is a Past-President of the National Capital Chapter, on the Chapter Leader Training Committee under the Council on Regional Affairs, on the planning committee of the Mid-Atlantic Construction Safety Conference, and is a member of the Emerging Professionals Common Interest Group. Bradbury currently serves as the National Capital Chapter Delegate and as the Assistant Regional Vice President of Communication for Region VI. He regularly travels the country speaking at local and regional professional development conferences and is a frequent contributor to Professional Safety Journal.