Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting real with what it takes to deliver performance

A frustration of many safety pros I know deals with the fact that almost everybody believes in safety and gives safety lip service only. When it comes to doing the actual work it takes to deliver safety excellence, suddenly the ranks of safety involvement decidedly thin out. Or, as one of these friends recently lamented; they will gather round the conference table and sing safety Kumbaya, but never go out into the workplace and do anything about getting to zero.

Safety Kumbaya; singing 10, dance 0. This is not a good score when it comes to implementation. We have to do more than sing. Where are the people who will take to the streets our clearly defined system that deals with concrete facts, proven models, and sustainable results that encourage organizations to continue digging deeper?

I guess at first we need something specific, not vague language and vanilla concepts, to inspire the leaders we can find to take this revolution to the streets (work face). Do you have such a well thought plan in place? Can you communicate your dream effectively? Are you doing so?

If you have three yes answers to the above questions, then it is time to search your organization for a champion who will march forward with you and attack safety mediocrity. No, it is not time for a sit in, that wont work in the productivity world that often smothers safety initiatives. You will need a well thought out plan, followed by appropriate actions that are sustainable.

In the continuous improvement world that speaks to our post modern operations cultures, the term plan-do-check-act comes to mind. What is your well thought out plan?

Does it include:
  • A diagnostic that leads to valid improvement actions?
  • Improvement teams focused on credible data?
  • Accountabilities?
  • Appropriate training of the fundamentals of these accountabilities?
  • Measurement of value added activities?
  • Feedback based on completion of these value added activities at all levels of the organization?
In truth, there is a lot of hard work that needs to take place before you are ready to march on a system/culture that has been neglecting safety for a long, long time. Is it your time to stop singing Kumbaya safety and start the hard work it takes to change a culture of neglect that is so often apparent in our workplaces across the world?

The Doc

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