March 08 2020
By: Terry L. Mathis
Deming told us that people support what they help create. Many safety initiatives try to involve as many people as possible in the early stages to promote support and engagement. However, the best strategies don't come from large groups. That is likely why Deming didn't say people support what they create from scratch.
Strategic decisions should be made by a group of those who know best and are in positions of leadership. Involving others should be more tactical than strategic. When the strategy is set, others can "help create" the details of how the strategy is to be deployed. This level of involvement will create ownership and pride in the effort without diluting the process of setting strategic direction. When the leaders lead and involve the followers in tactical decisions, the initiative moves forward with solid support from the workforce.
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.