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Do you have the Reliability Mindset?

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Mindset Definition – a person’s way of thinking and their opinions. 

‘Production targets are constantly being missed’

‘The annual shutdown never starts up on time or it takes weeks to get back to pre-shutdown production targets’

‘The same piece of equipment keeps failing even though we did the root cause failure analysis’

‘The right spares are never in stock’

‘We have had too many quality non-conformances’

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

Reliability outcomes are strongly influenced by mindsets and capabilities of any individuals or teams within an organisation. A mindset refers to the underlying patterns of thought, feelings, assumptions, values, priorities and opinions which shape a person’s perception and motivation.

Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success—a simple idea that makes all the difference.

Two mindsets that exist are fixed and growth.

In the fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like intelligence or talent are simply fixed traits and that talent alone creates success without effort.

In the growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work and that brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for the achievement of great things.

The world of Reliability is no different and it needs a certain mindset to achieve great things.

If we continue to think the same old way, we will get the same old results. Nothing changes.

Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and non-learners.”

If we are striving to be the low-cost producer or a high Reliability organisation, then the Reliability Mindset needs to be in place across the organisation and we need to be constantly learning.

Without Reliability we don’t produce, we see failures, we see increased costs, we see near misses, we see an increase in safety incidents. Whilst we can’t purchase Reliability off the shelf or wave a magic wand, what we can do, is by adopting the right attitude and implementing the right values and understanding, is deliver Reliability across the business.

In order to do this, we need to develop the right mindset – a Reliability Mindset.

Some of the qualities and foundations of the Reliability Mindset:

1 – Failures that have not happened are addressed – we are constantly looking at our asset base to ensure failures that have not happened don’t happen and that activity is in place to predict or prevent these failures occurring.

2 – Constant problem analysis – no matter how large or small, all problems are analysed to identify effective solutions

3 – Learning and more learning: Educating the site in Reliability principles is the same as educating the site in safety principles. The two-work hand in hand. Training a select few in the principles of Reliability will not establish the mindset required to achieve a high Reliable organisation. Making Reliability learning a mandatory part of the company in-house training curriculum and part of the minimum requirements for site-based staff is a quality that the Reliability Mindset will deliver

4 – Teamwork is key: front line leadership with the right mindset and drive is required and the supporting team must fully understand the goals and objectives of the journey. The vision must be clear. Having the right mindset is often the difference between ordinary people and great people.

5 – Listen to your Operators: Reliability Mindset needs a recognition of the frontline operators. They are closer to the work than the leadership, they are often the early warning when things are not going right. Working closely with front line staff is a key attribute of the Reliability Mindset.


Reliability Mindset is a key element within our ReliabilityFocus™ program which was developed and is delivered by Pro-Reliability Solutions Ltd.

If you would like to know more about adopting a ‘Reliability Mindset’ within your organisation, or the ReliabilityFocus™ program, then please do contact us.

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