We all have training, background experiences, desire, abilities, duties, DNA. In short, we are our own culture that is made up of a complex formula unique to ourselves. We are called on to use this personal, private mass of talent on our job, at home, on vacation and elsewhere in the lives we lead. This call to action can occur at a moment’s notice or as a part of a carefully contrived plan that takes significant time to develop and execute. Sometimes the call to duty is just a reuse of our abilities and makeup and sometimes there is a unique nature in what is to be accomplished. And thus the rub; what happens when we are expected to break out of our traditional approach, our comfort zone, and do something new? Can we get out of Popeye’s cartoon character “I am what I am and that is all that I am” syndrome? Do we only regurgitate the same old safety chime that has been digesting forever and in reality is just passing through our system?
Are we only capable of delivering the same old videos, check sheets, policies and procedures, observation system, regulations-based condition fixes, ad nausea? Is our solution approach really just the classic definition of insanity? As safety performance gets better and better there is a need for new approaches which can help our organization break through the performance plateau that the same ol’, same ol’ cannot solve. If we want to achieve a performance level beyond the no longer acceptable results delivered by the classic tools we must go beyond regurgitating and start engaging the people across our organization. As you are faced with a plate of problems, consider how to engage others in using their talent mass to deliver creative solutions which have the capability to clean up what remains spit up in front of us. The spinach of the past has but the power of vomit in solving the unique issues which face today’s safety professionals.