Ever wonder why your safety program just doesn’t seem to sizzle?
Why your latest safety promotion fell flat on its face?
Why you manipulate individuals to be safe?
Why does all this safety stuff really matter anyway?
One of my students called the other day to tell me her company’s safety performance was a disaster. Everything she tried just was not working. She told me what she and her group were doing and how they were going about implementing their new safety programs. After an hour or so, I asked her why she was doing what she was doing. Her incredulous response was, “So no one will get injured or killed, you #@^*&.”
She didn’t say the last phrase, but I sensed she was thinking it. I asked her, “Is this really ‘why’ you are doing what you are doing or is this ‘what’ you expect as the result of what you are doing?” Having recently read Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why1, it was evident to me that my student’s story paralleled Sinek’s concept of the Golden Circle.
She knew “What” she was doing and “How” she was doing it. However, when it came to “Why,” she could only articulate an outcome she was hoping would result from what she was doing.
Even though Sinek’s book targets leadership roles in organizations, I believe the principles of his Golden Circle model has numerous applications in safety, both from a safety leadership and incident investigation point of view.
Sinek describes the three levels of the Golden Circle as: