It’s uncomfortable, confusing and dispiriting. You’ve volunteered for this. You want to be part of an elite, handpicked and trained to a different level. So how come this experience is tearing up the models you’ve been taught? The investigation is getting difficult, no logical pattern to the events. Random, disparate information yet you sense a connection, if only you could find it.
You go back to the start, check with colleagues, test your ideas and re-examine the evidence. You begin to see beyond the information, slowly but surely you notice what is missing.
You were so deep in the data you forgot to bring yourself. The human factor that they always mention. You thought the term meant mistakes by the people you’re investigating. Which it does, but it’s only part of the system. We can’t investigate this incident without you. We need the messy, conflicted and confused you. The person who remembers what it was to be frightened or complacent or distracted. Who recalls the pressure of the role, the pride of the job and the continual battle with unrealistic deadlines or budgets.
In the end, no model works, no theory lasts. Someone always breaks the rules and something always goes wrong. There’s a saying by Mao Tse tung – “Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent.” That’s the world we are working in – are you ready?