The Role of “Building on Momentum” When Leading Safety-Culture Change

The Role of “Building on Momentum” When Leading Safety-Culture ChangeAnyone who has driven along mountainous roads in snowy conditions knows how difficult it can be to drive uphill. As long as the traffic is moving, there’s a good chance you’ll make it up the hill. But the minute traffic comes to a halt, the advantage you used to have changes because you no longer have momentum in your favor. Getting your vehicle to move uphill from a full stop in the snow often results in spinning your wheels and just not making much progress. 10 Things Leaders Absolutely Must DO to DRIVE Sustainable Safety Culture Change

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Eric Svendsen

Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.

 

 

Eric Svendsen

Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.

Comments

  1. Frank Miley says:

    Tip 3? Surely you jest. You are advocating someone to sacrifice their personal well-being to reinforce safe work performance? How do I explained to my daughter that Dad lost his eye being ‘undercover’ safety guy as recommended by Dr. Svendsen. I find this concept offensive and ignorant, or maybe you are saying PPE is required for some, not others? Come on, I know you can do better than this, I have read your work! Be Safe.

    • Frank, I appreciate your thoughts on this, and I’m fully aware of the controversial nature of that particular tip. But keep in mind that not all risks are equal (there is such a thing as an “acceptable” risk, and we live with these daily). I’m not suggesting the “undercover” agent put himself at real risk.

      Some work environments (or specific areas of the work environment) are inherently safer than others. For instance, an eye-protection policy may apply to the entire plant, but the odds of something bad happening in the pedestrian walkway may be extremely unlikely. I’m certainly not suggesting that the “undercover” agent operate a drill press or a grinder without eye protection. The risk should be an acceptable one.

      This may not mitigate your concern, and you may still disagree with it. My view is that the benefit to the workforce (building their confidence to coach each other on safe behaviors) outweighs any real risk in this case.

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