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  • Writer's pictureLeverage Safety

A Leaders Strategy

In the business world, profound truths can often be found in the wisdom of great leaders and in the imagination of fiction authors. Consider the exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland":

"Would you please tell me which way I ought to go from here?"

"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

' "I don't much care where," said Alice.

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

"-- so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice explained.

"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

This famous dialogue offers a valuable lesson, often seen in many organizations striving to improve safety performance and culture. Any road may be taken with clear goals and strategic direction, but actual progress may be attainable.

Many of Leverage Safety's client organizations, already leaders in safety performance, have realized that more than merely increasing activities and mandates is needed to lead to sustainable improvement. With limited resources and growing operational challenges, strategic focus becomes essential in prioritizing decisions and precisely choosing proactive interventions while closely monitoring progress.

Two powerful metaphors shed light on strategic thinking. The concept of "Zoom In, Zoom Out" by Rosabeth Moss Kanter highlights the importance of seeing both the details and the big picture when making strategic decisions. The corporation itself can be likened to a white-water river, where choices cascade from top to bottom, affecting each level of the organization.

In the context of safety, leaders must prioritize and execute improvement objectives with buy-in from all stakeholders. Employees, contractors, and vendors should see the value and rationale behind safety initiatives, understanding how it contributes to the bigger picture of safety excellence.

Great leaders avoid reactive responses to events, instead choosing a clear improvement direction aligned with preventing incidents and injuries while maturing the safety culture. They establish proactive accountability systems to encourage discretionary performance, challenge the status quo, and manage cultural beliefs and experiences.

Moreover, great leaders don't settle for achieving impressive results; they measure both leading (activities) and transformational (performance progress) indicators to ensure continuous improvement. When transformational results are achieved.

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