Leadership , the key to unlocking high performance in safety critical industries

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  • Leadership the key to

    unlocking high performance in

    safety critical industriesWendy Anyster

    Consulting Occupational Psychologist

    The Leadershipvine Ltd

  • The psychology of human performance

    Organisational culture: a set of deeplyembedded behaviours, beliefs, and mind-set thatdetermine the way we do things around here.Cultural drivers influence the way people act andbehave, how they talk and inter-relate, how long ittakes to make decisions and how effective they areat delivering results .

    Culture manifests

    itself through

    behaviours or

    human performance

    Antecedent Behaviour Consequence

    Antecedents and


    influences the quality of

    human performance

    Beliefs are reinforced,

    modified or changed

    depending upon the

    consequences of

    behaviours what is


    Beliefs Behaviour Results

  • Leadership the key to unlocking behaviours for


    A good safety-culture cannot simply

    emerge and be self-sustaining. It has to

    be encouraged by senior managers,

    then sustained with peer discipline and

    overt management safety behaviour

    leadership. The alternative will be an

    organisation liable to pockets of safety

    excellence and areas of safety chaos(Dr John B, Taylor, 2010).

    An organisation is strongly influenced

    by and is very responsive to perceived

    expectations from the topthese

    perceived expectations can and often

    do have a profound impact on the

    behaviour of individuals in the

    organisation (Dr Zack T Pate Former CEOof INPO, past Chairman of WANO).

    Leaders need to wake up to the power

    of Culture. Often misunderstood anddiscounted as a soft, nice-to-have

    component of business, culture is neither

    intangible nor fluffy; it is one of the most

    important drivers to the creation of long-

    term, sustainable success (Sean Culey,2012).

    Leaders through their actions, decisions & interactions create & shape an organisation's culture.

    Culture is shaped by:

    What leaders pay attention to

    How leaders react to critical incidents

    How leaders allocate resources

    The behaviour leaders demonstrate (role model) daily, teach & coach

    What gets rewarded, what gets punished

    (Edgar Schein, 1992)

    An informed culture

    A reporting culture

    A learning culture

    A flexible culture

    A just culture

    Elements that contribute to

    the development of a strong

    safety culture

    Reason , 1998

  • Leadership styles & the impact on human


    Style of leadership

    Scale of influence

    Level of dependence

    Directive Commanding

    Collaborative Coaching

    Compliance (have to)

    Commitment(want to)

    Parent - child Adult-adult

    What does good

    leadership look like?

    How do we influence

    organisational action

    that will deliver the best


    What leadership behaviour

    motivates high


  • Levels of influence (compliance vs commitment)








    Ask & learn

    Build relationships

    Want to

    Have to

    Positional authority

    Trust based relationships & connection

    Track record of performance -winning team

    Coach & develop others personal positive impact

    Character (personal will, professional humility)

    Power of voice

    Power of connection


    Compliance with policies, regulations & procedures ensure safety

    Doing the right thing

    Motive: fear, avoidance of negative consequences

    Have to .

    Thinking domain


    Understand and agree with the rationale behind the policies, regulations, rules

    Doing the right thing for the right reasons

    Motive: passion, caring, positive consequences

    Want to

    Emotional domain

    Its possible for people to operate out of compliance while

    they have very little commitment. But the opposite is

    virtually impossible. If one is truly committed, compliance is

    rarely an issue (Duncan, 2014).

  • Key leadership behaviour: what does good

    leadership look like?

    Seven key safety leadership

    characteristics and associated

    behaviours that can influence Safety


    (T.R. Krause, 2005)


    Action orientation





    Feedback and recognition


    Clear Direction




    Leadership behaviour that will unlock

    behaviours for success

    Need transformational leadership skills to generate

    employee engagement which in turn generates the commitment to drive organisational action that will deliver success.

  • Key strategies to unlock organisation wide

    behavioural shifts

    Current performance assessment

    (where are we now)

    Targeted future performance (where do we want to be)

    Identify priority behaviours to

    accelerate performance improvement

    Develop & implement

    robust plan to embed


    Communicate, reinforce, follow


    Develop an integrated, holistic

    behavioural strategy

    A positive Safety Culture is a culture in which

    safety plays a very important role and is a

    core value for those who work for the

    organisation. (IAOGP)

    Key questions: What is the broader organisational culture that we want

    to establish?

    What values should drive organisational behaviour?

    How do these values translate into behaviours (what we

    say & do)?

    What does good look like behaviourally?

    What are the strengths of our current culture?

    When we integrate all our performance data, what are

    the patterns, themes?

    What behaviours will drive organisational action needed

    to deliver the results we want? Behavioural




  • Key strategies to unlock organisation wide

    behavioural shifts

    Move beyond antecedents

    Antecedents Barriers Motivate

    & sustain

    How can we trigger/kick - start the right behaviours?

    What barriers may stop prevent the right behaviour?

    How can we remove these barriers?

    How can we embed the behaviours into everyday activities so that they become business as usual norms?

    How can we integrate these behaviours into our existing activities/ practices?

    How can we embed these behaviours so that they are hardwired into every aspect of our business and become a way of life?

    How can we actively engage all teams/staff in bringing these behaviours to life?




  • Key strategies to unlock organisation wide

    behavioural shifts

    Strengthen collective leadership



    Leadership capability


    So what.? That wont make a difference

    Not only did many engineers not have leadership skills and

    capabilities.but most did not acknowledge these skills as

    critical components of their jobs. For NASA engineers to accept

    these skills as important they had to be shown as relevant to

    their work & to enabling mission success(Christine Williams,

    NASA, 2012).

    A managers style of leadership & visible demonstration (of values) through actions is important in shaping the organisations culture.long term focus, commitment & a willingness to walk the talk are more influential than campaigns or posters. (IAOPG, 2013)


    that work

  • Key strategies to unlock organisation wide

    behavioural shifts

    Make it easy for people to do the

    right thing embed into activitiesPre-job briefs

    Setting to work

    Post job debriefs

    Behavioural objectives

    Performance reviews

    Team meetings

    On-job coaching

    Peer reviews

    A commitment to safety and operational integrity begins with management. But

    management alone cannot drive the entire culture. For a culture of safety to flourish, it must be embedded throughout the organisation (Tillerson, R. 2010).

  • Lessons learnt & best practices


    20/80 Behaviours

    Targeted performance improvements


    Behavioural language

    Behavioural descriptors: what goods like/sounds like


    Lead team collective behaviour

    Individual behaviours





    Leader-led role model, reinforce, coach One size fits one fit for purpose (what key will

    unlock behaviours in your context?) Engaged thinking, co-creation and value-

    driven action gets commitment Keep it simple focus on 20% that will deliver

    80% of results Bring behaviours to life through activities &

    practices that will make it easy for people to do the right thing

    Flywheel effect start slow to move fast; consistent, relentless action will create momentum

    Surface & share positive examples/stories

  • Wendy Anyster Occupational Psychologist & OD Specialist

    Wendy is a registered occupational psychologist with 24 years

    experience in the field of organisational development and

    behavioural change. During her corporate and industry years,

    she held various leadership roles includ