As we are wrapping up the pilot project and analyzing the data it is edifying as what we have always believed is being demonstrated and is now a known. The CEPA project provides a breakthrough for both academics in advancing the research and for on-the-ground safety practices. We know that safety can act as a catalyst for positive safety management evolution and organizational alignment to achieve operational excellence. Contractors are our content experts and provided the opportunity can excel.
Frank Buchan whose one of many roles at Pragmatic is as an Analyst. In this capacity he sees the entire data set from evaluations and various mitigation project implementations. Frank is uniquely positioned to communicate what we unequivocally now know. The following is Frank’s analysis with both the hard data and experiential learning:
In an imperfect world…
…we are often told that what we want cannot be achieved. Why is it so difficult to change what we know to be wrong in favour of what we know to be right? Even when we wake up every morning with a certainty there is a better way forward, we too often walk the same staid path. Is that fear? Is that doubt? Or is it simply because we have been told that we cannot walk that other path before us?
What would you say if…
…we told you that you already know the better way forward? What would you say if we told you that you already do everything necessary to walk that better, truer, more profitable path? What would you say if we told you that the very people who manage effective operations are already prepared to make a simple, effective change that will drive you to better places? What would you say if we told you that we know the outcomes of taking this better path are the outcomes you have sought since the inception of your company? What would you say if we told you the only difference between what you have now, and what you could have tomorrow and forever, is making one simple choice? It is not choosing a fad, or a variation on a failed theme, but making the choice to manage your entire workplace, your contractors and employees, exactly the way you manage your operations to generate profit.
What do you want?
Do you want employees who are engaged every day, who identify and report high consequence risks before they manifest? Do you want an organization whose cultural roots are embedded with a process of detection and mitigation, where people find and fix what is wrong before it creates loss? Do you want an organisation that provides high quality and ever higher reliability, where your people are competent not only in their own domains but efficient at engaging in collaborative effort to reduce risk? Do you want a workplace where sensitivity to operational imperatives is second nature for every person, and every person constantly confronts unexpected risks with a mindful state, where they remain flexible, adaptable, consistent, effective and aware because they know why it matters? Do you want an organization where considerations of quality are so commonplace, so collaboratively understood, and so essentially valued, that every person at every level of the organization understands the vital role they play, and understand the immense value to be found in drawing on expertise from every other person they encounter? Do you want an organization where this cohesive, natural team-effort is so rooted that productivity increases not because resources are added but because the resources you have are always getting smarter? Do you want an organization where respectful cooperation creates the one outcome that is unarguable – higher profits?
…are the root of the problems in almost every organization that falters, stumbles, or fails. We are constantly told to “believe” in systems, in people, in products, and in dreamlike panaceas. We are constantly told that the next great fad will solve all the problems the last fad failed to solve, and even most of the problems that last faddish nonsense created. We are constantly told that all we need to do to rise higher is to reach higher…but, oh, there is an associated cost. Yes, a one-time cost, which will only increase forever, to support what we “believe” to be the best way forward. We are constantly told about that the way we work now is the best way, and yet somehow the numbers that keep us operating never bear it out. We are constantly misdirected by the fundamentally flawed belief that by pretending an outcome is a process, we will instigate sustainable positive change. Safety, we are told, will come because we are being safer. And yet, people die, pipelines fail, and costs mount…while documents pile up to a height we can no longer fathom. Profit will come, we are told, because we are working smarter. And yet, companies flounder people die, contracts fail, and costs mount…while even more documents pile up in some dusty cabinet to never be seen again.
What would you say if…
…we told you that you already know why those systems fail you, even if you can’t quite put it into words? What would you say if we told you that the only reason positive change isn’t seen is because, while industry has been on the cusp of that positive change forever, the status quo chokes opportunities away? What would you say if we told you exactly the same process that works inside will work outside, with contractors and others, and that you already have the proof of that statement?
How do you manage your operations?
Do you sit in isolation of the outside world and say, “Oh, it will all work out,” or do you demand performance measured ultimately by a bottom-line figure? Do you say, “Oh, it’s been done that way for centuries, so let’s not engage any new technology,” or do you seek new efficiencies? Do you make grand pronouncements such as, “We are already perfect,” or do you constantly apply cyclic improvements to make your operational processes better?
Why do you manage your operations the way you do?
Why do you measure by the bottom-line? Why do you see efficiencies by applying technologies? Why do you strive to always improve your profitability? You do those things because you know why you are in business, and you are driven to execute your business operations to support that fundamental “why” of your business.
An imperfect world…
…does not improve without change, and we know that industries everywhere are poised to change. Operational failures cost, and that cost is often tragically extended from a spreadsheet into the lives of workers and their families when catastrophic failures occur. We know that no operations manager, no executive, ever wakes up sputtering, “How many employees can we kill today?” Nor do they ever blurt out, “Let’s destroy our environment today!” Every last one of these people, who understand the why of their business, already know what we know. It is not good enough to pay lip service to change, and it is not acceptable to end a workday with anyone left behind. Leaders in industry lead for profit, but no leader executes a plan outside of the context of this imperfect world.
So why do so many companies accept managing risks in every domain but the one domain that ensures everybody goes home every day? Why does every company already manage their operational branch with precision, focus, and reliable metrics…and yet they accept shoddy performance, false platitudes and ever-increasing costs in the realm of “safety?” Why does every successful company practice value-driven risk-management in every domain but the one where it most obviously applies? Why do we accept that passive models of “safety” are allowed to drain resources away from operations, endanger the people who make us great, and destroy our bottom-line?
What do we know?
We know that great companies want to change, want to deploy the same active stance outside core operations as they practice inside that domain. We know that this active model needs to extend outside the company to contractors and allies. We know that every skill needed to successfully execute the change already exists in every company willing to achieve greatness. We know solutions apply to business problems, and real solutions never create new business problems. We know no one should die, or be seriously injured, in the pursuit of profit – because as soon as that happens the profit is lost, and no one – no one – wants enterprise to suffer. We know shareholders want a profit, but not at any cost; we know executives want productivity, but not at any cost; we know that operations managers want efficiency, but not at any cost; and we know workers want to provide value, but not at the cost of their lives.
What would you say if…
…we told you that you already have a proof that every aspect of business can be a profit centre, even health and safety?
We know how to focus your team on controlling communications inside and out, so that you add value rather than bureaucracy. We know solutions to your business problems that are predictive, efficient, simple, and cost-effective. We know you already have the knowledge in your organization to pursue and master active compliance monitoring. We know you know this already, because every day you pursue the same principles in operations that we know you can apply everywhere in your organization.
We know how to guide you in setting the bar of achievement higher, and we know how to help you employ the progressive thinking that will drive the correct organizational and worker behaviours. We know how to help you expose the metrics that make active compliance your touchstone process for better safety outcomes, and we know how to help you develop the culture that brings operationally sound management to the safety domain. We know how to help you develop directive communication that will create real, practical, operational solutions for real business problems. We know how to help you embed measurement processes that introduce sustained cyclic improvements that drive positive internal change; changes you can test and modify as business needs change; and changes that you can own without an array of endless consultants, reams of new paperwork, and enormous operational confusion.
Active compliance and evaluation are operational processes, to be adapted to any realm where risk exists, and all you need to do to embrace the competitive opportunities is use what you know differently. Think differently; act differently; and achieve differently.
Contractors and employees are expertise you can tap, who have a vested interest in working smarter together to achieve optimal production, quality, and safer workplaces. By making all of your communications operationally driven, directive and sound, measurable and engaging, you harness that existing knowledge; and you expand its scope of application throughout a healthy organization and beyond. Imparting that operational stance to your contractors raises them to a new level of performance, and cyclically raises your collective competitive advantage. With better communication, and an operational risk-management focus, you create trust and certainty, improve accuracy of reporting and execution, and achieve excellence beyond the envelope of internal risk. It makes no difference the size of your organization, because objective basic metrics already exist in operations to be spread beyond, even if the raw inputs differ. Risk profiles, large or small, reveal patterns and pockets of risk inside and outside your boundaries; and those patterns focus mitigation on operationally relevant activities that emphasize value-return.
Why do we know what we know?
We know the process because we live it daily, always striving to better how we apply what we know to achieve what outcomes we desire. We don’t “believe” that nobody should ever die in a workplace, we know it, and we know the only reason it continues to happen is that passivity is embedded in “safety systems. ” We know how to change that for you. We don’t “believe” you can embrace the change, we know you can harness the power of what you already have, and we know the mechanics to make that change sustain, leading every company down a better path.
Successful companies have a competitive advantage, because they are operationally smart. They have an operational culture that is sound, proven, and reliable. But far too many of them suffer from a critical mismatch between the sound risk management practiced everywhere else, and the passive acceptance of status quo that exists in health and safety domains. Paperwork does not save lives, but operational intelligence does. We know it. We know we can share it. It is why we exist, to show everyone who wants to better their risk management process that they do not have to start from scratch, they do not have to thrash about endlessly, and they do not have to discard what they have learned – they only need to apply it differently.
We know our business, because we understand why we exist. We know how to show the better path. We know what needs to happen to raise the bar, to extend competitive advantages outside core competencies of any business. We are not in business to save the world, or even save lives, we are in business to show transformative change can work for you to create the culture that recognises that every functional employee can bring their expertise, however discrete, to bear on your productivity. And we know that this change is disruptive, but not destructive, because we know you have every skill in your organization that is necessary to embrace the opportunity.
The only choice necessary to rise above others in your industry is to choose the different, better path. Ask why you exist as a business, and if the answer is to be the best at what you propose to do, embrace the path we know we can show you. Let us help you change the world with what you already know.