Teams As Predictable Machines

Mitigating Risk:Profit:Loss Awareness

A hard worker is hard to find these days!  How long have we heard that gripe by managers and field workers alike?  If that’s the case, then how much harder is it to find a good team?

Teams start with individuals deciding everyday that they’re going to show up 100%, knowing that they are watching the backs of those who are watching over them.  When we’re in the safety business, we’re all family because all of our families are interconnected through our work.  If an accident happens, then it could potentially have a disastrous affect on someone’s entire family or our own.

Showing up 100% and making that a known practice versus just lip service is the first step to creating a good team.

However, you can have great individuals within a group but still have an awful team.  You need to add three pillars to the team in order to become a well-oiled machine: cohesion, discipline, and communication.

Cohesion means that we understand why we’re there and that should go far beyond collecting a paycheck.  It involves accountability to the project goals and to each other to prevent loss and contribute to the overall success.  Cohesion means being on the same page and knowing what the plan is as well as being able to “STOP!” and have a discussion about risks and hazards when necessary.

Discipline means that everyone knows how to perform their job and they have the focus to do it regardless of the conditions.  It also means, you guessed it, the ability to “STOP!” when necessary because equipment malfunctions and conditions change, presenting more obstacles, hazards, and risks along the way.  The product of discipline is depth.  You can be a mile wide and an inch deep, but with practice and focus, you can become a mile deep and a great resource as a leader on the field.

Communication means not just assuming that everyone understands but checking for apprehension.  With Behavior Based Safety, it also means being accountable and giving each other peer-to-peer feedback, checking egos at the door, and working together to make a better team.

Show me a team that’s dedicated to these principles and I’ll show you a team that has the greatest success on and off the field.  This is the kind of team that can penetrate quickly into a tough project while maintaining ZERO incidents.

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