Changing Paradigms

How do you change peoples minds about safety? How do you get people from where they’re at, to where you want them to go? Rob Fisher gives his thoughts…

Hi, this is Rob Fisher with Fisher Improvement Technologies. I have a challenge today for you leaders and influencers out there. I get asked a lot, “How do you get people to change their mind?”. Whether it’s a new view of safety or some other process that you want them to think about, how do you get them to move from where they’re at to where you want them to go? So, I want to chat just a bit about changing paradigms. I had a great conversation with Sidney Dekker not long ago, and in that conversation, he said, “You know what Rob? If you want people to change your paradigms, then you have to give them a paradigm that makes more sense to them than the paradigm that they’ve been living with. I thought about that and it made sense to me that people live and see things through their own lenses – and if you want them to change how they’ve thought for sometimes five, ten, twenty, thirty years as a leader or safety professional, then – whether it’s a new way of safety, or Safety Differently, or human and organizational performance and how it works with behavior based safety, or root cause versus incident versus learning – you have to know that there’s a new paradigm out there and draw the path for them that makes sense. In other words, that new paradigm has to make more sense to them in the end than the old paradigm would – and they will come along on the journey. But as leaders, we have to intentionally understand and lead them on that journey, we can’t just ask people to change their minds. In other words: we understand where they’re at, we understand the new paradigm, and we understand what the path looks like to get there in a way that will make sense to them. You can’t just ask people to change their minds. I want to challenge you to go out there and understand the paradigms, help people change those to the new way of thinking, but help them also to understand the paths. Remember, intentional leadership starts with you.

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