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HOT TOPIC: MRO Seeks Nominations for Annual HERO Award

Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO) has a long history of relying on the expertise and dedication of the many members and stakeholder volunteers that support MRO’s mission “to identify, prioritize and assure effective and efficient mitigation of risks to the reliability and security of the North American bulk power system by promoting Highly Effective Reliability Organizations® (HEROs).”

In 2020, MRO implemented a Volunteer Recognition Program to acknowledge these volunteers for their hard work and contributions to the success of MRO. Part of the Volunteer Recognition Program includes an annual HERO Award. This prestigious award provides MRO the opportunity to recognize one volunteer annually for their exemplary initiative and commitment to advancing the concept and principles of HEROs throughout the MRO region and in support of MROs vision and mission. Past winners are highlighted on the HERO page of MRO’s website.

The qualifications for HERO Award nominees are the following high reliability organization[1] behaviors:

  1. Preoccupation with Failure and Risk.
    • Focus on failures
    • Look twice at repeat problems
    • Imagine what could fail, even if it hasn’t yet
    • Ask tough questions
    • Seek out and encourage bad news
  • Reluctance to Simplify Interpretation.
    • Embrace complexity of the bulk power system
    • Investigate the facts
    • Reject overly simple diagnoses
    • Be a skeptic; value other skeptics
    • Challenge the status quo
  • Sensitivity to Operations.
    • Seek to fully understand how things work, not just how they are supposed to work
    • Identify (and share) opportunities for improvement
    • Don’t assign blame; empower others to speak up
    • Promote teamwork and awareness
    • Identify silos and encourage cross communication
  • Commitment to Resilience.
    • Promote awareness of risks
    • Identify and share resilient behaviors for our industry
    • Determine and train others on appropriate mitigation efforts
    • Assess mitigation efforts for effectiveness
    • Promote continuous learning and training
  • Deference to Expertise.
    • Listen to (and leverage) the boots on the ground (experts)
    • Make decisions informed by technical truth
    • Develop communication tools for sharing of information

Please consider nominating someone that demonstrates any of the above qualifications, or has made other contributions or significant achievements in promoting HERO concepts across the MRO region. Nominations can be submitted online here, and will be accepted through August 31, 2022.

The board’s Organizational Group Oversight Committee will review candidates and make a final selection at its meeting on September 21, 2022. The award winner will be honored during MRO’s Annual Member and Board Meeting on December 1, 2022.

Questions regarding MRO’s HERO Award should be submitted to Jessie Mitchell, Director of Communications.

[1] See: