Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Drive Thinking and Speaking

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A key responsibility of leaders is creating an environment where people can do their best work. To do this well, leaders must be able to drive thinking and speaking—in other words, to foster a climate in which people feel they can speak up without fear of negative consequences, known as psychological safety. Leaders drive thinking and speaking by creating an environment of psychological safety, getting employee input for safety solutions, encouraging system thinking, and reinforcing teamwork and collaboration. Leaders who effectively create this environment increase employee engagement and decrease the likelihood of serious injuries and fatalities.

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Recognize and Foster Growth

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A critical skill all leaders must develop is the ability to provide high-quality feedback to their team members so they can perform their jobs well and grow and advance in their careers. When leaders do this well, it can fuel employee motivation and commitment, as well as positive safety outcomes. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Build and Live the Vision

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

One of the most important jobs of any leader is to build and live the vision for employees. Building and living the vision means painting a picture for employees of desired performance and living and managing organizational values in everyday interactions. Providing employees with a sense of the organization’s vision and mission should inspire them to align their goals with those of the organization. Research indicates that when leaders encourage employees to strive for something beyond their individual goals, this has a positive impact on safety climate, safety compliance, and safety participation. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Walk the Talk

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

It is not uncommon for leaders – who are pulled in many directions at once – to take shortcuts when it comes to safety. This can be detrimental, however, to safety culture and employees’ safety behaviors. In fact, research has shown that when employees perceive their leaders are not acting in ways that align with the company’s stated safety values, it leads to a decrease in safety compliance, a decrease in prioritization of avoiding accidents, and an increase in injuries.


Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Active Caring Promotes Positive Safety Culture

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A common complaint of employees is that leadership doesn’t dedicate enough time to listen to and respond to their needs. Over time, this can lead workers to believe their leaders don’t care about them or their concerns, which can erode safety culture. Active Caring is a core leadership competency because it demonstrates organizational support and fosters a sense of support and trust among employees, leading to positive outcomes for employees, the team, and the entire organization.


Blog Series: Five Core Safe Production Leadership Competencies that Drive Safe Production Culture

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

In today’s increasingly complex workplace, organizational leaders must be equipped to effectively deal with the relentless demands of daily decisions, challenges, and opportunities that impact all aspects of business, including safety. It is increasingly important to make intelligent decisions for safety in order to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities at work. Read More...

The “Shocking” Power of Leadership


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

In of the most famous psychological experiments in history, Stanley Milgram set up a situation in which participants believed they were providing electric shock to a perfect stranger (who was actually a paid actor) as part of a study on memory and learning. Participants were told to shock the person, who was in another room, when he or she gave incorrect answers to various word pair questions. In some cases, the actor made a point to say he had a heart condition. Read More...

The Front-line connection – leveraging the front-line in execution excellence


By Eric Johnson

The front-line of many organizations is often the first segment of interaction of the company to its customers. In a past post, we have discussed the importance of customer care. In this post, we discuss empowering employees to make the decisions that align with the organization while increasing their own satisfaction with their roles and ability to achieve their career objectives. Read More...

The Value of Mentoring in Safety

safety mentorship

By Eric Johnson

When our organization engages clients, one of the first steps we perform in our assessments centers around establishing a baseline regarding the safety culture climate within the organization at all levels. These questions center around elements such as “What is the overall view of safety within the organization?”; “How do employees react to injuries – both to themselves and to others?”; “How does safety messaging impact employees”. The answers to these questions often depend on both the current safety climate but also historical data. Within the conversational aspect of our assessments, we often come across a common theme that can enhance and support a growing safety culture – the component of mentoring within safety. Read More...

Stay energized through self-reflection!

self reflection leadership

By Martin Royal

For many leaders, the responsibilities associated with their roles take a significant toll on their energy levels. Leaders make many decisions, participate in diverse daily tasks, attend many meetings, and monitor progress on organizational goals. There is evidence that these responsibilities slowly take away the leader's energy and ability to remain engaged at work. When this energy depletion occurs, leader performance may suffer and they may be prone to violate work norms and expectations, and this may also further impact their teams and direct reports. In more extreme cases, this can lead to the leader's burnout. Read More...

Promoting a Learning Culture with After Action Reviews (AAR)

After Action Review

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

The manner in which incident analyses are handled in organizations has a significant impact on organizational culture. Empirical research demonstrates effective information sharing and incident analysis practices are significantly related to fewer incidents and injuries (Wachter & Yorio, 2014). In healthy organizations, AARs are viewed within the context of a learning environment to prevent similar incidents in the future. This includes looking at all system factors contributing to incidents. In less healthy cultures, AARs neglect to fully address these factors and may be perceived as blame oriented by employees. Read More...

The ‘Lumberjack’


By Eric Michrowski

We’ve all seen it or heard the stories. Someone claims to have been injured and seeks benefits. Or someone that is always off with “injuries”. I’ve heard all of them over the years including a worker that was injured over 35 times in a 20-year career! Injury-prone or are these signs of something more? Read More...

Leadership Visibility: The importance of leaving the desk and getting out into the field

safe workers

By Julia Borges and Madison Hanscom

As we move into a world where the use of technology is rapidly increasing to make our work lives more seamless, it can be easy to forget about the importance of human interaction. While artificial intelligence has become a vital part of organizational performance, human interaction is still at the core of organizational health, culture, and safety. In today’s complex, technology-driven world of work, leaders are as busy as they ever have been, making it difficult for them to get away from their desk and out into the field with their teams. While leaders have a commitment to their tasks, duties, and team members, balancing these critical components can pose quite a challenge for leaders across various types of organizations. Read More...

Lessons Learned from Mining, Refining and the Cleveland Browns

workers at plant_Fotor (2)

By Josh Williams

With apologies to our friends in Ohio, the Cleveland Browns professional football team has been historically bad for decades. Their record over the last 10 years is 48-122 (31st out of 32 teams in winning percentage). It was recently announced they will be looking for a new head coach to change their culture and start winning more games. Surely change is needed to reverse their losing ways, right? Read More...

Leadership 101: How to be a Great Leader and Drive Employee Commitment

Leadership 101

By Steph Andel

To be a great leader, you have to first understand what a leader is. So, what is a leader? When we say leadership, what do we mean? Although these seem like simple questions, there are actually “as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concepts” according to renowned psychologist Ralph M. Stogdill. While narrowing down leadership to just one definition is difficult, we believe leadership can be broadly defined through its distinction from basic management. Specifically, true leaders obtain commitment from employees, whereas basic managers merely obtain compliance. The heart of this difference lies in the particular behaviors demonstrated by leaders. Read More...

In Praise of Tactical Patience

Tactical Patience Blog Post

By Clint Rusch

There’s an old aphorism that is apocryphally attributed to Abraham Lincoln, which deals with the subject of cutting down a tree. ‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree,’ the saying goes, ‘and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.’ Various other versions of the saying exist, changing the times involved, but all with the same central thesis: use the majority of the time allotted to prepare for the task. Read More...

Lola Travel: The technology is good. The empathy is great


By Sarah Moore & Eric Michrowski

Some of America’s oldest chapters in history were written on the banks of Boston’s Charles River, but today it hosts a different kind of revolution.

Paul English, co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Kayak (the website and app that helps you plan your next trip by searching hundreds of travel sites for the best deal) is once again revolutionizing the world of travel. Read More...

Transforming, Innovating, Growing: The case for leaders with diversified careers


By Eric Michrowski

HBR recently published a study on Transformational Leaders . One of the conclusions that caught my eye was that most of the leaders that had successfully transformed an industry or business had very diverse backgrounds (think Amazon's Bezos who came from a Finance background). They mention the importance of leaders that come with outside experience and that are brought into a business to drive change. Read More...

The first step Tim Sloan could take to clean up Wells Fargo’s culture

Wells Fargo

By Sarah Moore

Business leaders are scratching their heads wondering, 'how do we avoid the type of hot water Wells Fargo is currently dealing with?' We recommend starting here…