January 31 2022
By: Shawn M. Galloway
Years ago, when hired by a manufacturing plant in California to help them improve upon their existing behavior-based Safety process (BBS), I coined a term. Sinchuwr BBS was born. Afterward, I saw it often. Being from Texas, the southern part of the United States, we tend to speak with a drawl, or sometimes it appears just lazy. "Since you were," becomes sinchuwr.
This plant once had a practical, focused process to identify organizational influences on behavior, but scope creep showed its ugly face. Knowing there was a process where employees were watching work to determine the influence on risk, other leaders began piling on. Well, since you were... I'd like you to also look for these ten things. Over the years, more was added to this BBS observation strategy. The original quarter-page list of items to observe became two pages front and back.
Recently, while teaching a class attended by enterprise-level safety professionals, I heard another piling on example. When leaders are sent out to locations with a particular objective in mind, more gets added. "Well, sinchuwr visiting the area, go ahead and perform some observations, go ahead and conduct some Gemba walks, go ahead and..."
There seems to be a propensity with many well-intended leaders to try to do everything. Safety needs to be strategic. Strategy is about value creation. It is strategic to decide what not to do or what to stop doing. Take a hard look at what you are asking of others on your journey to excellence. Is it the most important thing or the best use of time? Is it necessary? Does it add value? Is it what the customers and consumers of your improvement efforts need? If you keep coming up with an answer of no, perhaps less is more.
"I have a theory about the human mind. A brain is a lot like a computer. It will only take so many facts, and then it will go on overload and blow up." - Erma Bombeck
"The difference between the greats and the legends is their ability to focus for longer periods of time." - Jordan Burroughs
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.