A popular business concept has organizations searching for how they can look to the future while still dealing with day-to-day crisis events. These mini and maxi disruptions come from things like weather disasters, fatalities, spills and the like … and suck our resources dry. Those of you who have experienced such career shaking times know that pretty much all non-crisis activities and plans cease while you are in the midst of the moment—which seems like it will never end!
How do you engage in winning the long term war of delivering a zero-incident safety culture when you are drowning in the crisis battles of the moment? My personal experience is that while in the crisis mode, all our immediate support groups can do is cope the best they can. We drop our support of and involvement in other initiatives to deal with the serious, immediate realities. Once the tsunami passes, we do damage control, take a deep breath of relief (maybe a few days, depending on the crisis) and then re-engage with a renewed commitment to get to zero.
To win the war, we have to live a commitment to staying engaged in developing a culture of safety excellence. The relentless pursuit may get side tracked for a crisis. However, our active commitment and engagement must not get derailed by getting stuck in the now of daily difficulties. We must continue to look to the future and do what we can, when we can, to achieve the vision of a zero-incident safety culture.