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When will we see black boxes in the boardrooms?

Black Box
2nd, May 2015
0 Comment
by Tom Haak
in  Blog

Black BoxA friend is involved with one of the Dutch premier league football clubs. We were discussing football and what HR in organizations can learn from football. He told me that the players of football teams are continuously monitored, during training and during the matches. Not only the first team, but also the young players in the football schools. The data is captured with cameras around the field, and through the small devices the players are wearing. Examples of such devices: the Viper Pod and the OptimEye G5.


The OptimEye is especially designed for goalkeepers, and it gives them (and the trainers) detailed feedback on the effectiveness of their actions, their recovery time, their jump height and more parameters. In football there is kind of total transparency and there is no way to hide. You cannot say you had a good day if the data tells otherwise (Read: “It’s coming home: how wearable tech is about to change football”). 

Teodor Grantcharov and his team in the St. Michaels Hospital in Toronto developed a ‘black box’ to monitor operations in their hospital. The purpose: create the ability to make a detailed analysis of what happened in the operations room, especially when something went wrong. The prime use of the analysis is to learn and to avoid similar mistakes in the future. It will take a while before every operation room will have a black box. More experiment will have to be done. There will be resistance from surgeons and staff, as some are afraid the system will be used for blaming and suing, instead of learning.


Most airplanes have black boxes (in fact they are red). The black boxes have made flying safer, as airlines and manufacturers have been able to learn a lot more from disasters than before. Football players are monitored continuously. This enables the clubs to select and develop talent based on facts and thorough analysis. Now black boxes are entering hospitals, to enable surgical teams to improve their performance.

When will we see the first boardrooms equipped with black boxes? Are there already experiments going on, where top business teams are monitored by wearable devices and camera’s?
I am sure experiments are going on, and I would be very interested to learn more.
HR Trend Institute

The HR Trend Institute detects, follows and encourages smart and creative use of trends in the field of people and organisations, and also in adjacent areas.
Tom has a keen interest in organisations and service providers that use trends in a creative and innovative way. He advices organisations on how to get more focus in their HR interventions and how use trends to increase the impact of HR.

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Tom Haak can conduct inspiring presentations and workshops about trends in HR and how organisations can benefit. The HR Trend Institute can also conduct the HR Trend Scan.

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About the Author: Tom Haak


Tom Haak is the founder and director of The HR Trend Institute. Prior to founding the HR Trend Institute in 2014, Tom held senior HR positions in companies as Arcadis, Aon, KPMG and Philips. The HR Trend Institute detects, follows and encourages smart and creative use of trends in the field of people and organizations, and also in adjacent areas.