Who has been in a training class where some consultant is teaching you about “Culture”? Admit it, you nodded along with everyone else feigning understanding and then probably started using the term around your boss and colleagues to pretend that you knew what it was. But, in reality, deep down inside where these things are hidden, you admit to yourself that you really, really don’t know what this term really means.
The reason you don’t is because you don’t know how to use the term to make things better. You don’t know how to “operate” using the term. Operations in your business, in any business, are how things get done. We have trouble describing “culture” in a way that, well, gets things done to reduce injuries.
I argue to anyone who will listen that safety culture is not some value-laden, touchy-feely, fuzzy construct of an imaginary utopia. Instead, safety culture is people talking about safety and listening to each other. Simple, huh?
The question here is: how effectively are these safety management systems at influencing the critical talking that needs to go on between and among your employees and managers?