Managing safety performance– sending everyone home safe at the end of the day – is fundamentally a game of execution. No matter how good the game plan – policies, procedures and programs – when it comes to bottom line safety performance, the game is won or lost on the field.
Read the mission, vision and values statement of just about any industrial company these days, and you’re bound to find safety prominently mentioned. Words to the effect that “The safety of our stakeholders is of critical importance to the success of our business” can be found right next to the other goals and values so important
Sooner or later anyone who’s ever golfed as fallen to the temptation: buy the latest club to hit the market. The one guaranteed to knock strokes off next Saturday’s round.
Every once in a while, the latest technology works like magic. At least for a few rounds, and then we revert to form.
The people running operations – making the product, delivering the service, handling the materials – really are world class when it comes to measuring how well their business is performing. They’re all over all the important details of how much, how well, how often.
In his years of working with industrial clients, Deming built what many of us in the manufacturing management business would learn as his “14 Absolutes of Quality.” In the middle of his list of Absolutes was the proviso to “Drive out fear”, fear of getting in trouble for making defective products and reporting quality problems was a major roadblock to progress.
Good questions can do the heavy lifting for managers. A question starts by getting someone else talking. For all of the sophisticated theories that have been offered about the art of interpersonal communication, doesn’t communication fundamentally boil down to someone speaking, and others listening to what is being said?
Of all new assignments we encounter in the course of our career, no one is bigger than the change from managing yourself to managing others. When our new assignment and responsibilities were described, we were reminded “you are also accountable for the safety of those assigned to you.”
This month Paul discusses what happened in his old company every time it looked like safety performance was declining and introduces the term “political water.” He then dives into the toughest challenges as reported by one industry and compares and contrasts that to what we have heard over the last twenty-two years across a wide range of industries around the world. It leads to a discussion of the root of all challenges and management’s first duties. He shares some very important lessons.
This month Paul talks about the importance of training, more importantly of knowledge, in sending people home alive and well at the end of the day. He discusses how good leaders doing Managing by Walk Around can make a difference when they show up at a class. There are some very important points he makes that make this probably the most important News he has written.
This month Paul starts by examining Deming’s Plan/Do/Check/Adjust cycle and supplements the discussion with lessons from Drucker and Fayol. Paul uses the lessons as a starting point for a deep dive into the Check step as it relates to sending people home alive and well at the end of the day.
This month’s News is authored by one of our senior consultants and teachers: Dr. Edward Aronson. Eddie, as we know him around here, is a former manufacturing executive, whose focus as a management consultant is on what I’d describe as leading from within. Or, as Eddie puts it, “Standing up for what you believe in.”
This month Paul discusses two tools of leadership – Leading by Example and organization power. He makes the point that by the time anyone is promoted into a position of leadership they know about the important leadership practice of Leading by Example and while it may seem simple “there’s more to it than first meets the eye” and not always easy to do. Leading by Example is easier to understand than organization power and this month Paul does a deep dive into organization power and how not understanding it can lead to huge problems and catastrophic outcomes. He examines a case where the misunderstanding was deadly.