Wednesday, May 20, 2009

At the Caterpillar Dealer Safety Conference

It's a little bit quieter in the plant this week, in part, because CoreMedia's Shannon Broughton and Todd Britten (CSP) are in Charleston, S.C., taking part in Caterpillar's annual Dealer Safety Conference.

Shannon is spending time with a few CoreMedia clients and fielding questions about one of the keynotes presented by Todd and Noe Cisneros from Texas-based Holt CAT. The presentation, titled How to Elicit Safety Involvement to Drive Genuine Change, provides an overview of how the 2,000-employee company has jumped the charts in safety performance (i.e., DART and TIRR).

One of Noe's main points, however, will be to ask his peers to put away their recordables data for a moment and focus on safety's leading indicators.

"We know we’ve come a long way, explains Noe, but there's something bigger that impacts everything: that is, the infectious amount of enthusiasm for our safety and well-being. "That's what makes the difference between a flavor-of-the month campaign and genuine sustainability," he says. "It's a message we all need to hear."

Holt's two-plus year safety-culture journey involved a combination of assessments, internally-led continuous improvements teams, an overhaul to its near miss reporting system, communications and events, and refining accountabilities. Noe will be the first one to say it's ongoing. There's never a time to let up.

To be sure, I'm not only glad Todd and Shannon are able to spend quality time with some valued clients, but -- and I can safely speak for all of CoreMedia -- it's also an honor and privilege to be part of such a great group of safety professionals. More than 40 dealers from all over North America are attending. And they're there to learn and exchange ideas that can be applied anywhere.

"When your message is helping companies help themselves," says Shannon, "We often find ourselves coaching the guys who 'get it' sell the points internally. Once we get buy-in from the top, it's all systems go, which is when big change happens."

In any case, CoreMedia and these CAT dealers make for exceptional partners, and Todd and Shannon are instrumental in understanding what these companies are up against, what has worked, and what has been less than successful.

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