Why businesses can’t react their way to world-class

9th July 2019

Being world-class is a choice. It’s an attitude.

Take an Olympic athlete or gifted musician. An athlete has to be able to run faster or jump higher than their opponents – and a musician, the ability to apply their craft with unrivalled passion and precision. What each of them has achieved is a world-class state of mind.

But what if you’re a multinational manufacturer or construction company? How do you pursue these gold-medal realities when it comes to health and safety leadership? In our experience, you achieve it by transforming the way business leaders think, feel, act and speak about health, safety and the wellbeing of their people.

Too often though, we see business leaders trying to drive businesses forward with a determined focus on incidents – talking about them and reacting to them – hoping and guessing that zero incidents equates to them being safe and sound. In these cases, their health and safety culture is flawed and there’s all sorts of fraught challenges linked with this approach. That’s because incidents and their associated statistics can only ever be one yardstick. They’re negative, so people will find it very difficult to engage with them, on an emotional level. Plus, it only focuses on the past.

Apart from sapping your energy as you’re led from one problem to the next, the stark reality is this – without a structure or strategy, you can’t be certain that you’re tackling your biggest risks. We have a cast-iron conviction that health and safety performance and the quality of inputs a business makes, will always be a far better focus for leaders and managers, than results and reactive outputs alone.

We do a lot of work with clients in construction, quarrying and manufacturing – in America, Spain, Singapore, Germany, Poland and the Middle East. These organisations are aspiring to perform at very high levels – and that includes health and safety. What we’re seeing is organisations becoming much more connected globally and recognising the need for their business leaders and teams to have a global mindset to match.

In the same way that an athlete or musician can’t react their way to first class – it’s the same for businesses. Our success is firmly rooted in our business philosophy. That’s because every single time, it’s delivering transformational change for our clients across behaviours, systems and organisational practices, often on a global scale. It’s what our clients value and it’s why we’ve been able to build a solid global reputation on referrals. Working with businesses to pursue their gold-medal realities – that’s what we do best.

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