Shon Isenhour

Recent Posts

Piloting Your Way Through The Danger Zone: A Look at Learning to be a Jedi

Learning has many variables and paths that you might follow as you travel to mastery of a skill. The skill could be one of mathematics, problem solving, or even being a pilot or a Jedi. As you learn the new activity or skill you travel about the graphic above.
While this graphic is only a learning model, we can see three distinct zones that could yield interesting thoughts as one analyzes the concept of learning.
The first phase is the Beginner Zone.
Here you find yourself excited to learn and with so little knowledge of the topic that you don't even know what transferable skills or talents apply to this learning quest. With this said, you may underestimate what you know and how much there is to know on the topic. You will be fixated on acquiring knowledge and teachers to guide you.
The second phase is the Danger Zone.
As time or as expertise grows, you will transition into the danger zone. Here, some students believe they no longer need their teacher or sensei. They believe they are better and more knowledgeable than the master that trained them. You can see this zone characterized in the movie Star Wars, Attack of the Clones where Anakin Skywalker (soon to be Darth Vader) began to believe he was better than the Jedi Expert and Sensei Obi Wan. This misunderstanding cost him his hand and led him to the dark side.  We also see this Danger Zone in aviation around the 250 hour of experience mark. At this point a lot of pilots begin to feel too comfortable in the airplane. They skip checklists and tend to get a little gutsy with their personal flight limits. Sooner or later, it catches up to them and they are either scared straight or wind up as an National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report. The Federal Aviation Administration accidents statistics also support the danger found in this zone. In the work place or on the conference scene this zone is demonstrated by the "know it alls" that want the world to see that they are "experts" with out the understanding to realize what they do not know on the topic. The point is if you do not recognize this phase it could cost you your hand, your career, or your life. 
The third phase is the Expert Zone.
At some level of maturity the learner realizes that what he or she knows is only a trace of the knowledge that exist in the area of study. This "humblization" of the learner allows them to transition to the Expert Zone. In Malcolm Gladwell 2008 book "Outliers," he wrote that "ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness." Now we know that not everyone will be an virtuoso at everything by 10,000 hours but I would contend that they stand a good chance of being in the expert zone. They know many if not most of the areas of the body of knowledge (BOK) and they can see that there is so much to learn about each of those elements of that BOK. They continue to strive to learn and grow in the topic as they travel this zone.

Where are you with the items your are studying. Are you in the Danger Zone in any of your pursuits?

May the force be with you on your learning journey and be safe young Jedi. 

Failure curves and P-F intervals linked and explained: Tying the two most important reliability engineering curves together to generate a better picture of failure

During the early development of what would become Reliability Centered Maintenance, Nowlan and Heap gave us six failure curves to the left. When folks first see that sixty eight percent fall into the infant mortality curve then the doubt fairy tends to show up. "Sixty eight percent of the failures in my facility are not instant or early on start up." With this thought they then discount the incredibly important failure mode data provided to us from these studies. What they are missing is the connection to the P-F curve below.

Preconceived Notions Get in Your Way with RCA

Preconceived notions very commonly get in your way with Root Cause Analysis. Here is a perfect example. In this picture you can plainly see that the people on the left are taller right? Look again... Maybe we did not have all of the facts at first. It seems that in the video there is more going on than we thought. Our notions of what a room is and how it is typically shaped do not hold true in this case. This irregularity, led us to a poor understanding of the situation. Many times we go after issues with our personal opinion of the problem and the solution predetermined and it blinds us to the truth of the matter. All the data must support the conclusion not just the parts that you like. I have seen these preconceived notions derail investigations time after time and, it is one of the reasons that I suggest not using subject matter experts as RCA facilitators in this blog. Check out this post for 5 ways to help prevent jumping to conclusions. Then let us know what thoughts and ideas you have for avoiding this common problem by listing them in the comments section below.

Learning through Application for Return On Investment

As we develop new curriculum for our clients, we have put an incredible amount of focus on moving them from "training for training sake" to training for a documented return on investment.
Today I thought I would share a few of the elements that you might look for or create for your training efforts to drive a return on investment.

Three Ways To Stop The Power Point Madness and Increase Retention!

Last week I had the unfortunate experience of setting through a 300 PowerPoint slide training session that was delivered in 90 minutes. People it was painful, overwhelming, and frustrating. We have got to put a stop to the "Death by PowerPoint" mentality of training. It is born out of the needs of the instructor more than the needs of the student. Shouldn't it be the other way around?  "Instructors" or more often then not SME (Subject Matter Experts) either want show the students everything they know about the topic or want to make it easier to present by having "it all in the slides." It completely overwhelms the learner and retention of the content plummets. It is like drinking water from a fire hose. You see all the content but you certainly don't quench your thirst. Below are three simple tools we use to reduce slide count and increase the interaction and retention when we teach.
1. Can you build an activity that allows the students to go on a journey of discovery?
If we can give them a simulation that creates a discovery of the learning points then the retention of the material increases and the slide count is reduced. 
2. Could you provide them with the learning points and have them design the lesson and teach the class?
Having them self study the material really increases understand if you are there to help them as a coach and then having them teach it back locks it in. We always say you don't know the content until after you have taught someone else. Its true your prep and their questions really move the learning to a deeper level.
3. Are you pausing the slides to let the student apply what they have learned? The application  of the new knowledge to their world will answer a lot of questions about the relevance and provide them with examples they can take back. As part of the pre-work, ask them to bring data or problems to solve in class. They can use these to apply the new skills.
In the end it is not about the amount of content you cover it is about the amount of material they remember, apply, and benefit from.
Happy learning!

Reliability Confessions of the Not Quite Best Practice

You have secrets. Secrets that have robbed the reliability from your facility and its assets. Sometimes it just makes you feel better if you confess your secrets publicly. Maybe you should let a few of your secrets go today, and bask in the relief that follows. Today, you have that chance using the anonymous post feature in the comments section below.  But first let me share a few secrets I know already:
1. "I use what ever grease is in the nearest grease gun I find. (grease is grease)"
2. "I sometimes overload the machine and cause it to fail because when it does I can take a break while maintenance fixes it."
3. "I never torque the bolts with a torque wrench. (Tight is tight, right?)"
4. "I once wrapped a fuse in aluminum foil because it would not stop blowing."
5. "I never put all the bolts back if the equipment doesn't need them. (I'm eliminating wasted time)"
6. "I don't wipe off the grease fitting before I lubricate."
7."I sometimes don't share all the critical steps for a job plan so that I can save the day when it does not work."
8. "I have put a 20 amp fuse in a 10 amp slot."
9. "One time I dropped a bolt into a gearbox during a PM and it is still there today."
10. "I added flammable hydraulic fluid to a system requiring nonflammable to save a trip back to the store room."
At least some of these little secrets happen regularly in plants everywhere. I challenge you to reread the list and this time think about what underlying systemic causes might have led for the perceived need for the individual to take these steps and then make them their secrets. Remember what Edward Deming said: "Blame the system not the people." Fixing the system eliminates many more problems within your site than blaming an individual. 
Don't forget to add a few secrets of your own at the bottom.

Welcome to the new EruditioLLC.com

Our Team at Eruditio, LLC is passionate about adult education and driving skills in today’s modern industries to have a significant impact on the bottom-line. Thought leadership, participation in international standards and certification bodies like ANSI, ISO, SMRP and ASTD, and an ever-increasing presence at international Asset Management and Leadership forums continues to strengthen our ability to build awareness for skill development.

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