October 24 2022
By: Shawn M. Galloway
Does this sound familiar? Step 1. Recognize undesired safety performance. Step 2. Look for what worked with another company. Step 3. Plug into the company and expect results. Step 3. Scratch your head and ask, "Why aren't we getting the expected results?"
It is common for a leader in one organization to bring what worked into the next assignment. Nothing is wrong with that, as long as the program, process, tool or methodology is customized to the new business realities, capabilities and culture, and is supported by those involved with or leading the change. For example, if you look at one of the reasons Lean Manufacturing (which originated within the Japanese culture at Toyota) fails to implement in many companies in the United States is entirely because of commitment, capabilities, and cultural differences. Company A will never be Company B.
An organization must create its own practical and implementable roadmap toward what success looks like to them, with an understanding of the current capabilities and competencies, strengths and needs. It must decide on its unique destination and best course of action. Imagine a new CEO takes the helm and the investment community pushes the new leader on their strategy for increasing market capitalization. The response? "We are going to do what company x is doing." Copy or Plug and Play are never sustainable approaches to improving performance and culture, let alone achieving breakthrough performance.
"Any approach to strategy quickly encounters a conflict between corporate objectives and corporate capabilities. Attempting the impossible is not good strategy. It is just a waste of resources." — Bruce Henderson
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with." — Brodi Ashton
Shawn M. Galloway is CEO of the global consultancy ProAct Safety. He is a trusted advisor, professional keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books on safety strategy, culture, leadership, and behavior-based safety. He is a monthly columnist for several magazines and one of the most prolific contributors in the industry, having also authored over 700 podcasts, 200 articles, and 100 videos. Shawn has received awards and recognition for his significant contributions from the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council's Top 40 Rising Stars and Top Ten Speakers, EHS Today Magazine's 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS, ISHN Magazine's POWER 101 - Leaders of the EHS World and their newest list: 50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers and is an Avetta Distinguished Fellow.