Robservation 24 – Some Leaders Just Don’t Get It!

Hello, and welcome to the next Robservation. You know there is one phrase that, when I hear it, makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and here it is – “We’ve got good processes we just can’t get people to follow them!”

I will jump right into my Robservation… When a leader or leadership team believes this, they do not understand the concepts of human and organizational performance, human factors, or the science of human behavior. Unfortunately, I hear this phrase from far too many organizations that already claim to have deployed or at least dabbled in HOP, meaning that the leadership team is still thinking HOP is a worker set of concepts and tools, not an organizational set of concepts and tools.

We predicted the probabilities that this phrase was right (or actually wrong) decades ago. Deming gave this phrase a <10% chance of being true, even in his least conservative predictions. But more than that, we have DECADES of data and information that prove the predictive science.

In leadership teams where it is understood, and accepted, that about 90% of the problems are systemic in nature, not just individual problems – you rarely hear this phrase, and the leaders are intentionally looking for the systemic drivers that produce both success and failures.

In organizations that claim they know and use HP concepts, but the leaders aren’t really bought in, the leader language and behaviors almost always include this phrase.

Listen for any variation of the trigger phrase “we’ve got good procedures; people just won’t follow them.” When leaders use this phrase, it indicates where your organization is related to the opportunity to use HOP and advanced error reduction concepts to improve. It adversely impacts the capacity, resilience, and reliability of the people and the organization. That also tells you a change in leader knowledge, language, and behaviors will be needed to get the full benefit of HOP concepts and move towards a more just culture.

For more information on this and other HOP concepts, contact Fisher Improvement Technologies Today! And remember, Intentional leadership starts with YOU.