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The power of complex services: foster, use, and abuse: Part 1 - Balancing creativity, judgment, and discipline

The contrast between two transportation accidents (Southern Pacific 7551 and US Airways 1549) provide the background required to understand what a quality culture means in complex services. Rigorous training and enforcement of well thought-out and shared rules combines with freedom to act to produce the best outcome when experts are faced with unforeseen circumstances. On the other hand, a « good enough » quality culture slowly takes hold as sloppy work without immediate consequence is tolerated. The silo mindset hides the potentially devastating systemic effect of these defects.