top of page

Operational Learning Teams | Flip Charts & Whiteboards

Here is a quick story about one of Sam Goodman's experiences conducting Learning Teams while working internally at an organization.




Human & Organizational Performance (HOP) concept: A graphic illustrating the interconnectedness of human capabilities and organizational systems. (HOP)

Sam Goodman

The HOP Nerd LLC


Sam Goodman is the founder and independent Human and Organizational Performance practitioner of The HOP Nerd LLC. He is the author of multiple books focused on Human & Organizational Performance, the safety of work, and the safety profession, and the host and producer of The HOP Nerd Podcast. Sam is an experienced safety and HOP practitioner, accomplished author, passionate speaker, and respected consultant and coach.

 With extensive experience in the field, Sam has worked with a diverse range of industries, including commercial nuclear generation, utilities, construction, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, transportation, and more. He has collaborated with numerous organizations to operationalize and embed HOP principles and techniques.

In addition to his consulting work, Sam is a prolific author, sharing his knowledge and insights through various publications. His latest book, the best-selling "10 Ideas to Make Safety Suck Less," has become a vital resource for professionals in the HOP field.

Sam offers the flexibility, passion, and know-how to help your organization begin, or go further on its HOP journey.     


What is Human & Organizational Performance (HOP)?

Personally, I think of HOP as a collection of better beliefs, assumptions, thoughts, and ideas – from diverse and varying sources –  applied through the lens of a core set of principles.      

To me, at the core of it all, Human and Organizational Performance is a fundamental shift in how we view people. It is the move away from viewing people as problems to be managed, and the shift towards viewing people as problem solvers.

While there are several other vital bits and pieces, Human and Organizational Performance is about starting from a place of trust, embracing the human element of our work worlds, understanding that people show up to work to do a good job, and constantly and deliberately learning from those that do the actual work.

Our traditional approaches often start from a position of distrusting our fellow humans; we have viewed people as the source of problems and pain within our organizations. People have been viewed as the last great problem to fix, as the last step between us and organizational utopia.

We have viewed people as the problem to fix, and we seek to fix problems. We have built systems of distrust, constructed endless lists of rules, ones that are policed via mechanisms of constant surveillance, oversight, and harsh punishment for "wrongdoers." We have tried and tried to comply and punish our way to operational excellence, but it has failed us time and time again.

This distrust of our fellow humans has been a harmful negative that has inflicted unnecessary pain and suffering upon those that diligently serve our organizations. This distrust of our fellow humans, and this desire to punish those “untrustworthy” and “uncaring” humans that we believe to be causal of our problems has led us away from improvement - away from learning - not closer to it. It has left our workforces fearful and untrusting, devoid of the ability to be honest with the organization, and unable to tell “real deal” stories about how work normally occurs, and it has left our organizations blind to vital information and learnings.

The Principles of Human & Organizational Performance (HOP)

Error is Normal

Blame Fixes Nothing

Context Drives Behaviors

Learning Is Vital

How We Respond Matters

The principles and concepts of Human and Organizational Performance move us away from these misguided and harmful beliefs. Rather than viewing people as the problem - and attempting to cure our work worlds of events and problems by seeking to cure people of their humanity - HOP teaches us to embrace our fellow humans, to defer to their expertise, to learn from them, to seek to understand, and to understand that their “know-how” and knowledge is vital to the success of our organizations. Human and Organizational Performance teaches us that error is normal, that no one chooses to make a mistake, that blame fixes nothings, and that blaming only moves us away from the so needed learnings we require to improve.

Allow me to circle back to the key point, Human and Organizational Performance is a fundamental shift in how we view people – people are problem solvers, and we must create systems of trust so that they can do just that.

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page