Factor-Finding Failures

April 22 2015
By: Terry L. Mathis

When new safety programs or processes are rolled out unsuccessfully, there has almost always been a failure to determine either the factors necessary for success, the factors that can contribute to failure, or some combination of both. Without a list of the key factors of success and failure, a project launch is a blind affair. This blindness seems more logical if the project appears to be well constructed and has been successful at other organizations or sites in the same organization. Sadly, imitation of success is no guarantee of success.

The reasons for the imitation failing are basically the differences in sites and cultures. A good fit for one site might be a recipe for disaster at another. That is why an analysis of success and failure factors is so necessary. Such an analysis is unique to each culture. It should include a review of past successes and/or failures and the factors that contributed to those; but it should also include simply asking a representative cross-sample of people what they think of the project and what it would take to make it work. Good implementers and change agents have usually learned a lot about such analysis, but can almost always be more thorough if they simply list critical factors to success and failure, and address them in their implementations.

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.

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