Importance of Developing an Effective Case for Action
Answering the age-old question of “why change” is one of the first things for leaders to address in their organization prior to implementing a safety or loss prevention system. Developing an effective case for action is critical to help leaders prepare themselves and their line chain for a successful implementation. People at all levels need to understand & appreciate why the organization is exploring a system implementation, as this can help motivate and create emotional support to act as a catalyst for the organization to move forward.
The implementation of a safety or loss prevention system should be a positive and transformational process for organizations in any industry. Leaders play a key role in the success of the implementation and sustainability of these systems to maximize buy-in and integration into the business to improve organizational performance. In this article, we’ll focus on one key topic for leaders to address in the early stages of preparation for a safety or loss prevention implementation –– developing an effective case for action. In future articles, we’ll address other critical preparation topics for leaders to adopt (e.g., challenging organizational beliefs and assumptions that have the potential to hinder system implementation, recognizing how the system implementation interacts with and is connected to other organizational systems and processes, developing a shared vision for the implementation, and designing the system into day-to-day operations so it becomes “how” the organization performs).
We can all agree that selecting the right safety or loss prevention system, creating an implementation plan, and developing effective trainers to educate the organization are important aspects of any system implementation. Many change efforts fail, not because there aren’t good systems, or the organization didn’t develop effective trainers, but because leaders don’t properly prepare the organization for change. This is why people are often jaded by previous change efforts and view safety or loss prevention systems as a “flavor of the month”. The case for action requires reflection, mental energy, and commitment, but in turn creates the conditions for a successful and sustainable implementation.
Keep in mind that this case for change can be unique for different business lines or departments based on their organization’s needs and goals. For example, a chemical organization’s case for change could be related to an increased amount of work related injuries, Tier 1 process safety events, or product quality issues. A healthcare organization may want to reduce or eliminate injuries for Registered Nurses, hospital-associated infections, medication errors, or coding/billing issues. Additionally, a utility company may also want to reduce or eliminate issues related to worker injuries, cyber-attacks, customer satisfaction, or asset reliability.
Not having a clear case for action is a recipe for disaster for any implementation, let alone one for a safety or loss prevention system. Without a clear case for action, people can’t be educated on the specific issues to address and, therefore, will not likely be motivated to embrace the system implementation; thereby increasing the likelihood that people will just go through the motions and not create sustainable business performance.
At Loss Prevention Systems, Inc., we not only pride ourselves on having a world-class system and a 40+ year proven global track record, but we also assist clients in many different industries prepare their organization for this transformation by assisting clients in their case for action development. Implementing safety and loss prevention systems are a significant investment for companies and it’s important that all of us (clients and internal and external consultants) ensure that the organization is properly prepared for the implementation –– otherwise, it’s like building a house on a bad foundation.