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Culture Change

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Football coaches like the Patriots’ Bill Belichick make more than $10M per year trying to guide their teams to an NFL championship. Ridiculous sums of money? Maybe. But there are lessons learned from elite coaches that can be applied to safety culture improvement.   Coaches spend countless hours preparing their weekly game plans. This includes reviewing past game tape to identify strengths and shore up weaknesses and properly preparing for next week’s opponent. It’s an ongoing process of performance review, planning, execution, and re-evaluation.  Safety culture assessments and strategic planning are similar processes (minus the game tape and weekly schedules).

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By Eduardo Lan Many organizations seek world-class safety performance, which is the result of robust safety systems, effective safety leadership, and a safety culture that elevates individual safety awareness, accountability, and ownership. An important part of this, particularly as it pertains to safety leadership, has to do with both psychological safety and straight talk. Defined by Simon Sinek, “as an environment created by leaders in which people feel safe enough to speak up without any fear of humiliation or retribution (Sinek, 2021),” psychological safety is brought about through caring leadership. Psychological Safety Unleashes Discretionary Effort When we feel safe with others, particularly our leaders, we let our guard

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By Eric Michrowski The true implication for an organization that isn’t seeking every opportunity to learn is to accept to operate with a certain level of ignorance. Such comfort with organizational ignorance is one of the biggest barriers to success for businesses and is particularly dangerous when it comes to organizational safety. Companies need to, without compromise, learn from small events, near misses and injuries in order to systematically remove potential risks and reduce SIF potential. This is why leading organizations work to create an environment where workers are comfortable reporting close calls and incidents.  By focusing on using near misses and even

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Many years ago, we visited an Ohio steel mill to conduct safety culture training for hourly employees. To our surprise, people were excited to see us and anxious to get started on the training. This is not always the case with an 8-hour safety training class. I asked one employee why people seemed so enthusiastic and he replied, “30 minutes with Bob!” A Case Study in Smart Leadership: “30 minutes with Bob!” “30 minutes with Bob” was a program implemented by their new plant manager (named Bob). He replaced the outgoing plant manager who was recently fired. His predecessor was

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By Josh Williams, Ph. D. A recent incident at the Cleveland Medical Center got national attention when a patient was given the wrong kidney during an operation. Two hospital staff were removed from their jobs pending an investigation.1 Some may applaud this action as frustration mounts with ongoing reports of human error in the medical community. So, the question is: Is firing people really the answer? In a previous blog, empirical evidence demonstrated the benefits of human performance (HP) tools to minimize human error and reduce: Communication breakdownsOperating delaysPost-operative complicationsOverall mortality and morbidity rates The same benefits from HP that help patients also apply to health

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By Eduardo Lan As a safety leadership and culture consultant with Propulo Consulting, I am often asked by our clients to focus our efforts on the workforce to support them in shifting their safety mindset and behaviors. The logic behind this approach is based on the belief that changing how workers work will solve the problem. This approach is useful, but doesn’t always work long term, particularly if workers’ actions and behaviors are being driven by external forces, such as organizational culture, systems, and leadership.  Building a worldclass safety culture has everything to do with how leaders show up and choose to lead. It is leaders

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