Strategic management is often misunderstood when it comes to safety. We have to accept that an organization operates in a dynamic marketplace with legislation, competitors, consumers, technology, and local social economic factors affecting them on a day to day basis.
In order for the safety professional to get buy-in they must be able to demonstrate that any proposed changes will have a tangible benefit and contribute to the businesses overall success and profitability.
Today’s business executives need to be able to justify any revenue expenditure in order to be competitive in the marketplace. Yet, many safety people still fail to convince their companies that the safety inputs can add true revenue potential?
Why Organisations get it wrong (The 7 deadly sins)
If any of the above apply to your organisation, then ultimately you’re highly likely to fail in delivering a real corporate strategy that will make any sustainable and financially beneficial improvements.
I've lost count of the number of times I have seen companies spend money on making changes to their systems, training of staff etc., just to find out that things have not really changed. Strategic Safety Management requires a comprehensive examination of all major components of management strategy and their integration in order to be successful.
In my next article I will expand into how you can develop a safety strategy that can help you succeed in gaining support from your top management and more importantly a higher chance of success. One thing for sure, there is no magic solution, but you can reduce the risk of failure by utilising appropriate management tools to create a cohesive safety vision within the context of an effective organisational business strategy.
Remember the safety profession are viewed as advisors, so we need to act accordingly and ensure organisations are given the best advice and guidance to enable them to achieve their vision and ultimate objectives.
About the Author: Wayne J Harris
Wayne is a highly regarded international specialist in developing corporate risk and HSE management systems with over 30 years’ experience within high-risk environments. He has advised major organisations both private and governmental, on key issues of strategy and organisational risk and safety management. Wayne’s experience in dealing within the international arena and multiple cultures from Europe, Asia-Pacific, to the Middle East has given him a comprehensive understanding of the global risk issues facing an organisation in today’s business economy. He has held various senior corporate roles, and has sat on the Board of Directors of several companies including a Chamber of Commerce. He is also the Chairman of ISQEM, and a Director of the World Safety Organization (WSO) UN-NGO.