The Never-Ending Path to Mastery

Issue 5 and Volume 163.

BY BOBBY HALTON At the Everyone Goes Home Summit 2010, someone asked if the culture of extinguishment conflicted with the culture of safety. It does not. Both so-called “cultures” are not cultures at all but rather mind-sets or approaches that reflect a value statement about how one approaches our mission. Culture is defined by our institutions, artifacts, and values. In fact, these two mind-sets are not separate at all; rather, they are but two aspects of the path to mastery. The question was eerily resonant of a question asked of Captain Al Haynes of United Airlines. On July 19, 1989, Haynes and his crew were able to fly a DC 10 airplane for 45 minutes after the fan blades from the engine separated, tore through the plane, and severed all hydraulic systems. This has never been known to have happened before. Without those systems functioning correctly, the plane should not…

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