Programs vs. Modules

August 02 2015
By: Terry L. Mathis

The main danger of outsourcing anything in safety is the possibility of programs that don't fit well together and/or don't fit into the overarching safety strategy the organization has adopted. Fitting initiatives together is a critical part of strategy. Recognizing what should not be done is another. All too many organizations select programs and processes from multiple vendors without enough thought for how they all fit together and accomplish the strategic goals. Once started, many of these programs are continued indefinitely even when they have quit adding value.

The best strategic leaders don't simply look for programs to address problems. Rather, they look for modules to plug into their strategic circuit board and add value. This means avoiding the sales pitch of what is popular or promoted by subject-matter experts and digging deeper to make sure that the fit is there or that the program is flexible enough to create fit. It also means defining KPIs to measure the effectiveness of which the program is adding value rather than relying on lagging indicators which are impacted by multiple factors.

Moving from a programmatic to a strategic approach does not preclude the use of existing programs; it just demands another and more thorough selection process for those programs.

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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