Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

February 11 2018
By: Terry L. Mathis

You have likely heard the saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Focus on the fact that "tricks" is plural. Organizations that feel it is impossible to change the practices of long-term employees almost always try to change too much at once. In fact, this is one of the most common weakness of most safety-improvement processes we consult on. Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks All change needs to be broken down into doable steps or bites. These need to be taken one at a time if they are to become the new common practice. Too much change at once is not only overload but a threat to workers' feeling of competence in their jobs. Even old dogs can do new things if you take them in bite-sized pieces.

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.