Safety Culture Excellence®

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Milestones: The Tendency to Think Backwards

October 22nd, 2014

A client recently emailed me about a celebration his organization had held to recognize the workforce for reaching a “milestone in their progress towards safety excellence.”  I asked if the “milestone” was something identified on their road map to safety excellence.  After some hesitation he admitted that it was not on the road map but that they had recognized a significant achievement that they believed would be sustainable and wanted to celebrate it.

There is nothing inherently wrong with looking backwards and realizing you have accomplished something worthwhile, but there is a missed opportunity.  Mapping out a journey and identifying milestones in advance does not detract from the satisfaction of reaching them.  In fact, it reinforces the feelings because there was a clear plan to get there and accomplishing the goal is even more satisfying than accidentally realizing success.  Clarity of purpose and direction creates milestones in the road ahead and not just in the rear-view mirror.  

Visible progress toward goals is one of the cheapest and most effective motivators available.  Use it deliberately, communicate your progress continuously, celebrate successes earnestly and motivate your workforce toward safety excellence relentlessly.

-Terry L. Mathis

For more insights, visit www.ProActSafety.com

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.
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358 - Hands and Feet or Hearts and Minds?

October 20th, 2014

Greetings all, here is a short video for this week's podcast. I hope it gets you thinking!

Shawn M. Galloway
President, ProAct Safety

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357 - The Four Levels of Training Effectiveness

October 13th, 2014

Greetings all, here is a short video for this week's podcast. I hope it gets you thinking!

Shawn M. Galloway
President, ProAct Safety

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Safety: Seeing or Thinking?

October 8th, 2014

Have you ever seen the puzzle in the comics that ask you to tell the differences between the top and bottom picture.  At first glance, they look the same.  But, as you look closer, you begin to find minute differences.  If the puzzle didn’t tell you the exact number of differences, you might think you had found them all before recognizing some of them.  The human brain automatically looks for differences, things not the way they should be, but if the differences are not big and obvious they can be missed.

Safety is dependent on these two kinds of recognition as well.  Some risks are big and obvious; others are subtle and take time and concentration to discern.  Among the most difficult risks to accurately discern are low-probability risks, those that don’t result in accidents always or regularly.  

In accident investigations, we have often already determined the risk involved in the accident and assume that it would have been as obvious to the worker(s) injured as it was to the readers of the report.  That is seldom so.  If the risk had been obvious, the worker would have taken precautions barring other factors that might have influenced or limited the decision.  One of the last frontiers of safety involves helping workers and work groups to identify the subtle risks that don’t automatically catch our attention.  

-Terry L. Mathis

For more insights, visit www.ProActSafety.com

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.

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356 - Focus on Value Not Tasks

October 6th, 2014

Greetings all, here is a short video for this week's podcast. I hope it gets you thinking!

Shawn M. Galloway
President, ProAct Safety

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Personal Development – The Books I Read September 2014

October 2nd, 2014

  1. Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman
  2. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds by Carmine Gallo
  3. The Curriculum: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master of Business Arts Hardcover by Stanley Bing
  4. The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs
  5. The Heart of Leadership: Becoming a Leader People Want to Follow by Mark Miller
  6. The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human by V. S. Ramachandran

And of course please consider adding our book, STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence (Mathis, Galloway) to your reading list! – www.STEPStoSafetyCultureExcellence.com

Happy reading!
Shawn M. Galloway

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Performance: People or Process?

October 1st, 2014

What gets an organization the most excellent performance:  good people or good processes?  Obviously, these two are not mutually exclusive, but most organizations that utilize both favor one or the other.  If you view excellent performance as something delivered by all stars, then you favor recruiting and developing people.  If you view excellent performance as something delivered by a highly-functioning team, you tend to select adequate workers and give them specific processes to define their contributions to performance.  

The most excellent organizations we work with have an interesting blend of these two approaches.  They lean heavily toward the people aspect without neglecting the definition that comes from process.  In the extreme this is a choice between “hang your brain at the door and follow the procedure” and “ let’s all hold hands and sing Kum ba yah.”  Even great people need direction and no amount of direction can compensate for too much lack of ability.  

Neither of these approaches alone has ever proven to produce the highest levels of performance, but the right combination and blending of the two can and has led organizations to levels of performance they didn’t think was possible.

-Terry L. Mathis

For more insights, visit www.ProActSafety.com

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.


355 - The Pointlessness of Be Safe

September 29th, 2014

Here is a short video to help you see how pointless it can be to tell someone to "be safe!"

Shawn M. Galloway
ProAct Safety
www.ProActSafety.com

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Awareness vs. Performance

September 24th, 2014

When my staff wrote a training objective that contained the word “awareness” I made them re-write it.  Why?  Because it is not a performance term!  Awareness is simply a cognitive function.  All it requires is being awake and paying a modicum of attention.  Do you want your children to be aware of traffic or stay out of it?  Do you want your workers to passively be aware of risks or actively take precautionary measures? 

Training objectives need to be performance-based, i.e. “Given this training, workers will take these precautions regularly within 20 days.”  Performance-based objectives are observable in the workplace and can be measured. But training is not the only realm in which performance should the objective.  In safety, all communication, leadership, supervision, coaching, and peer interaction should be aimed at improved safety performance.

Yes, awareness is important; but it is a step toward a goal, not the goal itself.  If safety-improvement efforts stop at awareness, they will result in a mental state, not a performance step change.

-Terry L. Mathis

For more insights, visit www.ProActSafety.com

Terry L. Mathis is the founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, an international safety and performance excellence firm. He is known for his dynamic presentations in the fields of behavioral and cultural safety, leadership, and operational performance, and is a regular speaker at ASSE, NSC, and numerous company and industry conferences. EHS Today listed Terry as a Safety Guru in ‘The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS in 2010, 2011 and 2012-2013. He has been a frequent contributor to industry magazines for over 15 years and is the coauthor of STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence, 2013, WILEY.

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354 - Are You a Doc or Cop?

September 21st, 2014

For the video this week, consider, as a leader do you come across more like a DOC (Demonstrating Opportunities to Care) or a Cop (Catching Opportunities to Punish)?

I hope you enjoy this short thought-provoking video.

Shawn M. Galloway
ProAct Safety
www.ProActSafety.com

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