Positive Influence:

Cutting Edge Ideas on Behavior-Based Safety, Quality and Leadership

You Can Change Behavior and Leave Personalities Intact

Recently I’ve reached a personal “tipping point,” in regard to understanding human organizational behavior. Possibly, others have had a similar learning experience.At one time, I believed that I understood everything; I was patently certain that I could explain everything with a few basic precepts.

Time and experience eroded my self-confidence; the principles and practice of one discipline solved many problems, but left many unsolved. I started looking at other theories and disciplines—finding intriguing explanations for why people do the things they do. Unfortunately, the more I read the more confused I became. It was not unlike my experiences in reading philosophy (a fleeting experience I admit); I found something of value in every school of thought.

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Applications of Behavioral Technology Before BBS: Part 2

Applications of Behavioral Technology Before BBS: Part 2

Behavior-based safety (BBS) processes, borrow heavily from the science of behavior analysis, using behavioral tools to decrease at-risk behavior and increase the frequency of safe behavior.Many behavioral tools, included in but also in addition to those used in BBS, enable organizations to influence the behaviors that drive overall business success. Part 2 offers suggestions about how to capitalize on the skills, time, and investment you've made in Behavioral Technology through the implementation of BBS.

Why Were Many Behavioral Processes Not Sustained?

Why were processes with such profound effects on performance data not institutionalized and integrated into the policies, practices and values of these organizations? Why did most of these applications last no longer than a year? Although this is a subject of debate, the short answer is that the processes began as separate initiatives that ran parallel to the processes of the organization and that were mainly management driven.

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Advances in BBS Observational Tactics

Advances in BBS Observational Tactics

A common complaint among companies that have been implementing behavior-based safety is that, over time, there is a distinguishable loss of interest – among all employees – leaders, managers, supervisors, and frontline employees. The robust energy exhibited in the first few months has deteriorated; the observations, meetings, and interest have devolved into a monotonous routine.

At every conference I hear BBS champions and Safety Managers voicing the same request: “Do you have any ideas about how we can give our BBS process a ‘shot in the arm?’” BBS processes in which observers are enlisted voluntarily suffer more conspicuously than companies that have institutionalized their BBS process as a job requirement and a “condition of employment.”

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Applications of Behavioral Technology - Before BBS: Part 1

Applications of Behavioral Technology - Before BBS: Part 1

Behavior-based safety (BBS) processes, borrow heavily from the science of behavior analysis, using behavioral tools to decrease at-risk behavior and increase the frequency of safe behavior. Many behavioral tools, included in but also in addition to those used in BBS, enable organizations to influence the behaviors that drive overall business success. In fact, the tools of behavioral technology have been applied in a wide variety of business and industrial settings, consistently improving human performance by at least 20 to 30 percent.

It is time for organizations to fully utilize the behavioral technology that is the foundation of their behavior-based safety processes. Organizations could and should maximize the investment made in BBS by expanding, adapting and applying behavioral technology and employee observational skills to the company’s strategic operational outcomes – productivity, quality, Six Sigma, Lean Principles, Wellness, and so forth.

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Reviving a Struggling Behavior-Based Safety Process: Use Observational Capability to Improve Quality and Productivity

Reviving a Struggling Behavior-Based Safety Process: Use Observational Capability to Improve Quality and Productivity

Sooner or later you hit the wall; your process becomes routine…your observers are going through the motions…they may be pencil whipping out of boredom. Employees have lost interest; it is getting harder and harder to keep the steering committee interested in meeting.

Anyone who is involved in Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) for any length of time is going to go through this down cycle and hear other companies voice these same complaints. The answer is too simple to get much attention: Apply trained observer skills in other areas of organizational performance.

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Using BBS Observation Skills for Emergency Preparedness

Using BBS Observation Skills for Emergency Preparedness

If you are implementing behavior-based safety correctly, you have taught your observers what a behavior “is,” or “is not” – meaning they know a behavior from a non-behavior. A behavior can be observed; a non-behavior, like “thoughtfulness,” (the word implies a state of mind, not directly observable behavior) cannot be directly observed.We can only observe behaviors (something someone says or does); we use the word “thoughtful” when we later summarize all the specific behaviors for someone else.

So when I say Bob is really “thoughtful,” I am usually summarizing my individual behavioral observations, perhaps over time and in different circumstances, rather than say, “I saw Bob open the door for a female coworker, send his wife flowers on their anniversary, phone a sick coworker, help a kitten out of a tree, and visit his neighbor in the hospital.”

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