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  1. “People learn more from their mistakes” is an old saying that should be put out to pasture. Not only is this statement untrue from a learning standpoint, but relying on people to make mistakes to create learning situations is haphazard and reactive when it comes to developing the skills required in an organization. To illustrate why this statement is not the case, imagine you decide to take up a new sport—golf. Being someone who wants to find success and development in the game quickly, before even swinging the clubs for the first time, you hire a golf coach...

  2. Quiet Quitting is trending—on TikTok, in articles and blogs. Definitions vary but tend to include things like (1) worker disengagement, (2) a refusal to go “above and beyond,” and (3) a re-set of work-life balance. On the surface, Quiet Quitting looks like an unwillingness to give what we call discretionary effort. But how you define it matters...

  3. I’m troubled by what seems like an accelerating trend in safety, and that is people touting the next great thing. Don’t misunderstand…I believe in constantly looking for ways to improve. Technology is a great example. There are technological advances that have been game changers in safety. Speed limiters and adaptive cruise control are two prime examples.  But when it comes to the human performance component of safety, I’m troubled by some of the “advances”: the “latest and greatest” approaches being peddled...

  4. I recently talked to a client who was trying to gain commitment for some safety leadership improvements and was frustrated with the resistance he was facing from some of the management team. The resistors claimed that most of their safety challenges could be resolved if the frontline employees just had better situational awareness...

  5. It is an understatement to say that many organizations are running lean. The trend worsened during the pandemic and the current economic uncertainty seems destined to make matters even worse. While the business case for lean operations is compelling, there is such a thing as too lean, especially when it comes to safety. But how can you tell if you are too lean for safety? Waiting for a rash of incidents or a SIF event is obviously not a good strategy but by default, that is what some organizations are doing...

  6. The pandemic created a lot of divisions between people. At many organizations one such division is between those who had to continue to go to the workplace and those who were able to work from home. In healthcare, mining, manufacturing, and retail, those delivering services or producing goods had to come to work, despite the COVID risks. Those in support functions (management, HR, finance, etc.) worked from home. While working from home had its challenges (e.g., trying to focus with kids home, lack of workspace, endless Zoom meetings), it significantly reduced the risk of COVID...

  7. Recently during a leadership workshop I was facilitating, a participant approached me at a break and told me he wanted more out of his direct reports. He wanted to know why his current approach was not producing the desired effect. While I completely believed his sincerity, it became clear why he was getting the bare minimum from his team...

  8. The messages and communications that leaders send to employees, particularly those on the frontline, are critical. A well put message can boost morale, inspire engagement, and improve relationships between management and frontline employees. On the other hand, clunky or poorly delivered messaging can backfire, even if well-intended. Be especially wary of 'inspirational’ messaging that focuses on influencing the mindsets, feelings, and perspectives of people in tough roles...

  9. Tonight, in MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's press conference regarding the end of the MLB lockout, he stated that relationships are important in business and that he would do better at that in the future. It made us think of this blog that Aubrey wrote several years ago. We hope the commissioner will take his own words to heart. (Go Braves)..

  10. The signs of an impressive continuous improvement (CI) culture were plentiful. Walls of the common areas were adorned with A3 problem solving papers and visual management boards were scattered across the manufacturing floor. Planning rooms displayed a flurry of outputs from Kaizen events, with sticky notes and process maps extending from wall to wall. Senior leaders were also invested. They were well versed in the methodology themselves and structured both the organization and shop floor to optimize product flow. They recruited CI experts for internal consultation and training...

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