From Reacting to Learning – The Next Step in Org. Effectiveness
What gets measured gets done, or so we believe! Today many organisations are driven by KPI’s and dashboards. The result of this often means that we focus on efficiency, getting stuff done quickly, as opposed to being thorough, i.e. being effective.
This mindset appears to be increasingly driving the familiar routine;
- Deadlines are imposed for close out of the identified issues.
- Dashboards and reports drive action.
- Quick fixes ensue.
- Problems recur.
The result of all of this in the worst-case scenario is that Management Systems become a convenient mechanism for managing administrative work (safety work) without affecting the safety of work. Einstein is reported to have said that if he only had one hour to solve a problem, he would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and the remaining 5 minutes solving it routinely. His focus was one on learning and understanding the true nature of the problem as opposed to gaining a superficial understanding and immediately instigating a fix.
Organisations need to move towards approaches that are more focused on learning and understanding. Approaches that accept the inherent complexity of the modern workplace, and in turn take systemic action to improve performance rather than falling back on simple explanations and familiar fixes. Human and Organisational Performance (HOP) is an approach or philosophy that focuses on building an understanding of how organisations and people work together with the aim of enhancing performance. Looking at performance holistically includes all potential outcomes including safety, quality, productivity and efficiency. The learning team method is focused on taking the time to truly understand, with the aid of frontline personnel, how work is happening and the best way to make it better.