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The Etto Principle: Efficiency-Thoroughness Trade-Off: Why Things That Go Right Sometimes Go Wrong

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  35 ratings  ·  2 reviews
Accident investigation and risk assessment have for decades focused on the human factor, particularly 'human error'. Countless books and papers have been written about how to identify, classify, eliminate, prevent and compensate for it. This bias towards the study of performance failures, leads to a neglect of normal or 'error-free' performance and the assumption that as f ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published May 28th 2009 by CRC Press (first published May 1st 2009)
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Ryan Frantz
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Someone once said that after reading this book they couldn't help but see ETTO everywhere. I agree. Every action we take (or don't) requires a decision that balances several variables, especially constraints such as time, knowledge, and competing priorities. It's both necessary and good (generally) for us to make trade-offs between being efficient and thorough (with a strong tendency to the former). In terms of safety and resilience engineering, understanding ETTO helps us to understand factors ...more
IMA_PSYCHOTIK _FUK
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have read a series of books. Nothing to complicated. Just some self-help and some college text books here and there. I needed to learn a better way to manage the complexity of my life and boy did i receive a good explanation. This book has become a golden nugget in my arsenal of personal effectiveness. The ETTO principle has completely revolutionized my life and how i look at the world. It actually made the self help area seem kind of questionable since i found such a valuable insight in a ran ...more
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66 likes · 6 comments
“In accident investigation, as in most other human endeavours, we fall prey to the What-You-Look-For-Is-What-You-Find or WYLFIWYF principle. This is a simple recognition of the fact that assumptions about what we are going to see (What-You-Look-For), to a large extent will determine what we actually find (What-You-Find). (The principle is furthermore not limited to accident investigation, but applies to human perception and cognition in general.) In accident investigations, the guiding assumptions are sometimes explicit, for instance when they are given as a directive or objective.

Erik Hollnagel. The ETTO Principle: Efficiency-Thoroughness Trade-Off (Kindle Locations 998-1000). Kindle Edition.”
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“Yet by assigning blame or pointing to specific causes we disregard the fact that the whole system only worked because everyone made approximate adjustments to their work.” 0 likes
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