The Normalization of Excellence

By Bombardier Business Aircraft - June 1st, 2018

Global Cockpit

The theme for Safety Standdown 2018 is the Normalization of Excellence. At first glance, these words may seem contradictory, after all, excellence isn’t normal, it’s exceptional. Excellence is achieved by the best of the best – it wins Super Bowls and Olympic gold medals. If you move from the field to flight deck, shouldn’t the flight crew, maintenance technicians and flight department managers be exceptional in every aspect of their operation?

The reality is, that on most days, we can be just good without any consequences. Too little sleep, a pre-flight check that was more of a glance and shortcuts to standard operating procedures are usually innocuous, but they have an insidious way of becoming the norm. The normalization of deviation, as it is known, relies on luck and hope that nothing strays from the ordinary, because when it does – and history has proven it will – good will not be good enough.

The normalization of excellence flips the normalization of deviance on its head. Rather than accept deviation from the standard as the norm, Dr. Tony Kern proposes that excellence be the norm every time, without exception. In practical terms, it is a call to you and all aviation professionals to commit to not cut corners in any situation. In the minds of those who adopt this value, the pressure of making every choice is diminished because there is no question that they will always do the right thing and be excellent at work.

In 2018, with the Normalization of Excellence as its theme, the Safety Standdown program will challenge you to raise your game in terms of professionalism. Our experts will provide the information and the tools to create a culture within your flight department where the norm is a job exceptionally well done, and gold medal performances are a daily occurrence.