Many aspects of process safety require practitioners to think creatively about issues and to critically evaluate their own judgments and those of others. For example, process hazard analysis (PHA) methods rely on the ability of the PHA team to identify scenarios using judgment in a brainstorming process that necessarily is subjective in nature. The ability of team members to think creatively is critical, particularly when trying to identify rare, consequential events which are of the greatest concern. Also, the ability of team members to constructively critique suggestions by other team members during the brainstorming process is essential to ensuring that the best possible decisions are made. The completeness of scenario identification and the veracity of judgments regarding scenarios are crucial to the validity of PHA study results. Thus, creative thinking and critical thinking are essential for PHA study teams. They are also important for other elements of process safety such as incident investigation, managing changes, and auditing. This course teaches the application of these two different but complementary types of thinking.
People are not required to think creatively for much of what they do in life. Routine thought works well for most activities and becomes habitual for many people. Indeed, our educational system largely encourages such thinking. These habits interfere with the need to think creatively in process safety, for example, when trying to identify hazards scenarios in PHA studies. Furthermore, psychological factors also can impair creativity, for example, the desire to avoid looking foolish when suggesting possible scenarios during PHA studies. These habits and factors can be overcome with the right approaches.
Conventional thinking can be incomplete, unclear, uninformed, distorted, biased, or prejudiced resulting in judgments that are false. Important considerations may be overlooked and conflicting viewpoints ignored. Flawed reasoning often is not recognized. Indeed, it has been found that people who are not naturally good at reasoning are the most likely to overestimate their reasoning ability. Furthermore, when people try to persuade others to their views, they may use emotion or personal attributes such as their reputation, rather than logic. Critical thinking can be taught and it helps people to overcome these issues.
Examples and workshop exercises from both everyday life and process safety are used to teach attendees to use creative and critical thinking.
To improve the ability of process safety practitioners to develop solutions to problems and evaluate their own judgments and those of others, for example, in identifying hazard scenarios to improve the completeness and quality of PHA studies.
Process safety practitioners.
An understanding of process safety and experience in its use.
- Key decisions in process safety
- Types of thinking
- Creative versus critical thinking
- Characteristics of creative thinkers
- Characteristics of critical thinkers
- Productive thought and creativity
- Overcoming mental blocks
- Do’s and don’ts of brainstorming
- Development of creativity
- Pro and con arguments
- Deductive and inductive arguments
- Evaluating arguments
- Assessing the credibility of claims
- Use and abuse of persuasion
- Recognizing fallacies
- Impact of emotion, self-interest, and wishful thinking
- Addressing cognitive biases
Duration / Credits
- Two days
- 1.4 CEUs or 14 PDHs awarded
$1,295 (U.S.) per person (see registration form for information on multiple-enrollment discounts)