Consistent with our mission to deliver a lasting impact, our services are organised into three core streams; Diagnostic field research; Field based coaching and mentoring and Learning Programme Development.
Diagnostic field research
The potential for unpredictability and non-linear behaviour in tightly coupled systems such as Drilling Rigs, Gas Plants, Power Plants and Hospitals, requires an approach that addresses complexity and emergence. In such environments it is the 'Front Line' that possesses, in real time, the raw data and required information that is required for accurate problem definition and effective diagnosis. The need to probe, adapt and learn in order to develop and enact effective courses of action requires the deep involvement of front line workers. In many legislative environments, engaging the people who are directly impacted by risks and hazards in the development, testing and implementation of safe working practices, is as much a legal requirement as a moral obligation that makes good business sense. Engaging frontline workers in the diagnostic process ensures that they start to develop the knowledge required to ultimately anticipate hazardous events and act appropriately.
We believe that understanding all of the elements of an activity system in its ‘native’ setting is an essential component of any effective diagnostic. To that end, our consultants are trained in the use of Activity Theory based tools and techniques. This approach develops a detailed understanding not just of the activity that the workers are engaged in, but also how tools, rules, culture, history, work organisation and planning all interact to create a discrete activity system. By focusing on the complete activity system as the unit of analysis rather than individual factors such as safety behaviours and safety culture, we develop a holistic and systemic understanding of safety performance.
Field Based Coaching and Mentoring
Our research has shown that moving towards an adaptive, mindful leadership approach should not be seen as another Transformational Change programme. Such programmes are inherently led by a guiding coalition of leaders that often then struggle to get change to ‘stick’ at the strategic change boundary, the so called ‘front line’. We favour a transitional approach to change that helps the people who are living with the problems learn how to fix them and develop safe working practices across the entire activity system. This empowers and enables the local organisation to take responsibility for performance and safety.
The driving elements of this approach are:
1) Developing Researcher/Leader in-situ observations and pragmatic reflections;
2) Delivering key learning sessions;
3) Facilitating ‘Safety and Operational Performance’ Development Work Research sessions;
4) Providing ongoing coaching/mentoring support to Site Leadership.
Learning Programme Development
Experience has taught us that effective learning programme development requires a ‘Pilot’ process that facilitates an iterative process of co-creation. By integrating ‘action research and learning practices with effective operations management, we overcome the general resistance around questions of validity and relevance. Ideally, experienced staff from the client’s organisational development group will also participate in programme development and delivery to ensure ‘in house’ ownership, thereby avoiding the accentuation of any ‘them and us’ separation typically evident between corporate and field organisational elements.
Iterative programme development is by its nature an organic process that requires time. It is not a quick fix. We have learned that effective 'Pilots' should be delivered through fifteen, four weekly modules with a programme structure as outlined below:
- Meet key individuals;
- Undertake field observations to understand local ‘climate’ and current practices;
- Develop an understanding of Context; and
- Begin the process of developing relationships and trust.
- Introduce the Pilot Programme;
- Establish agreement around core objectives;
- Develop a system of performance measurement, tracking and reporting; and
- Agree a programme specific ‘code of conduct’.
Modules 3 -14 (inclusive)
- Undertake field observations to understand changes to local ‘climate’ and practices;
- Deliver key learning session;
- Facilitate ‘Safety and Operational Performance’ Development Workshops;
- Coaching session with Site Management to reflect on key learning and progress towards the stated programme objectives.
- Review performance against key objectives;
- Reflect on the Pilot programme’s successes, failures, key learning etc;
- Group discussion on the way forward;
- Formulation of a Go Forward Strategy.
Programme delivery should be on site, to minimise disruption and ensure that programme participants are in a ‘work’ mind set so that key learning is rich in operational context.