Compliance vs. Excellence

June 21 2021
By: Terry L. Mathis

I gave a talk recently at a virtual conference in which I explained the difference between basic safety and safety excellence. I got numerous comments afterwards indicating that many people didn't realize that they were simply pursuing basic safety and assuming that getting better at that would result in excellence. But as Marshal Goldsmith noted in his recent book "What Got You Here Won't Get You There."

Compliance vs. Excellence Basic safety is like learning to pitch, catch and hit a baseball. It will help you enjoy the game but won't get you in the major leagues. Safety excellence is a different challenge than basic safety, and requires the use of more sophisticated methods and more critical metrics. Basic safety is the foundation for safety excellence and cannot be replaced or forgotten, but it is not how you build the penthouse of excellence.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.