On March 24th, a luxury cruise ship carrying 1,400 passengers and crew arrived back into port in Tromso, Norway. It had returned from the brink of an unthinkable disaster. All four engines failed amidst high winds and rough seas. The ship floundered and was dangerously close of running aground.
After a long day at work, the journey home begins. We get into the sanctitude of our motor vehicle and start the welcomed drive home. Safe, cocooned in the world where we have control, we head off keen to get home to be with those we love. What happens next?
Have you ever wondered why the taps on your sink turn the way they do to open or shut the valve? or why kitchen units are basically the same height around the world? The chances are you never think about the height and position of the screen on the ATM as you withdraw your hard-earned dollar or how the books are organized in your local library. Why would you?
Too many managers, especially those working in safety complain of being trapped in meeting rooms or behind a desk. When faced with real-world concerns, they communicate policy, statistics and too often, “corporate-speak”, but don’t provide on-the-ground leadership to make change happen.
It’s been quite a week. If you’re like I am, you have re-committed yourself to “no one getting hurt on your watch.” So, the big question is, “How do we sustain this feeling of shared ownership and commitment for safety performance?”
When the results we’ve always gotten equal mediocre performance, what should we do? It’s said that Einstein remarked, “Doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.” Repeating what we have always done will doubtless get us the results we have always gotten.
Often, getting an organization to that next level–the one where you’re not just meeting goals, but surpassing them and moving into almost unimaginable territory–can be tricky. It’s not always obvious how to move beyond business as usual, particularly when business as usual has gotten strong results up to this point.