When you are surrounded by Safety methodology it’s sometimes hard to believe that 2020 is almost upon us.
A well intentioned “safety professional”, from a multinational building materials company, just proudly posted this image on Linkedin. Despite what the sign says, only lost time injuries make it to the board. There is nowhere to record health or psychological related lost time but imagine how anybody would feel if they became the “1” (as hard as they tried to avoid reporting it) and had to walk past this sign every day for the next 12 months?
They were surprised, along with some other likeminded safety people, at the volume of critical comments and questions in the responses. According to all those who think this is awesome and unquestionable stuff: “haters gonna hate”
This reminded me of the blog that Gab Carlton wrote back in 2015: We are in Control and Other Such Delusions!
Weick is one of many who discuss the illusion of control. If we believe we are in control we believe there will be no errors. Yet how can we be a resilient organisation if we cannot manage the unexpected. Because as the saying goes, ‘shit happens’! And it does. However, how well do organisations adapt and move on? An organisation distracted into believing they have control and perfectionism will not be resilient. Resilience is not just about bouncing back it’s about engaging in an adaptive mindset.
Resilience is about learning, adapting, knowing, relating, conversing, engaging, being mindful and more importantly understanding people matter.
Resilience is understanding that no system is perfect, that learning from errors is important, that understanding errors will occur. It’s not the focus of ‘no error’ or ‘error free’ it’s a focus of understanding there will be error. It’s how you are able to move forward and learn despite the error(s), allowing the system to keep functioning. That is because the system is not the focus it’s the people that are the focus. If we focus on people we understand that people will manage the unexpected far better than a system will. A system is rigid and static and cannot adapt and if we solely rely on that system we will fall apart. If we understand that people are the key to adapting the system to move on then the organisation has the capacity to be more resilient.