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Are your leaders sufficiently Risk Intelligent to support safety? Understanding and measuring the critical leadership characteristics to support safety.

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Presentation on theme: "Are your leaders sufficiently Risk Intelligent to support safety? Understanding and measuring the critical leadership characteristics to support safety."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are your leaders sufficiently Risk Intelligent to support safety? Understanding and measuring the critical leadership characteristics to support safety Presentation to IRSC 2013 Arthur D. Little Limited United Kingdom

2 2 Stephen Watson ‘Risk Intelligence’ is a measure of the mindfulness of leaders and is necessary to successfully deliver safety strategy Risk Intelligence of Leaders The importance of effective safety management systems supported by effective safety culture is well understood by railway organisations internationally –Leaders play a critical role in enabling, supporting and actively leading safety International research on both organisations involved in accidents and High Reliability Organisations (HROs) has highlighted the importance of mindful leadership –This involves being conscious of the risk issues within the organisation Leaders can, and must, influence the culture of safety through their attitudes and behaviours

3 3 Stephen Watson Collectively, the leaders actions and focus cast a ‘leadership shadow’ on the organisation which influences safety culture Risk Intelligence of Leaders What we prioritise How we act What we say What we measure Leadership Shadow Framing issues Context setting Repeating Emphasis Behaviours Symbols used/displayed Visible relationships Defined and implemented accountability Rewards Recognition Standing meetings Interactions Regular disciplines and routines

4 4 Stephen Watson Examining HROs can help other organisations develop their safety culture and approach to management Risk Intelligence of Leaders HRO definition from Professor Andrew Hopkins, Learning from High Reliability Organisations A High Reliability Organisation (HRO) is defined as “an organisation where a single error, if not contained, could cause not one fatality but hundreds” –Examples researched include air traffic control organisations and United States Navy aircraft carriers High Reliability Organisation is a concept which organisations can aim to achieve, but it is difficult to define in terms of an accident or incident rate HROs provide an example to help organisations in other sectors improve and develop their own safety culture and management approaches –This is particularly valuable to world class organisations who find it difficult to identify others in their sector that they can learn from Research has identified five common key characteristics of HROs and a number of methods which organisations can use to implement these What is a HRO?What can they teach us?

5 5 Stephen Watson Sensitivity to operations Deference to expertise Preoccupation with failures rather than success Commitment to resilience Risk Intelligence of Leaders Reluctance to simplify interpretations HROs have five common key characteristics that can be implemented in other organisations HROs tend to be more situational and less strategic than other organisations and can be thought of as ‘mindful’ organisations

6 6 Stephen Watson Risk Intelligence of Leaders ‘Risk Intelligence’ is an element of mindfulness, and a ‘risk intelligent’ leader commonly has nine key attributes Is concerned by the rare, high consequence events Remains open-minded and sceptical about good news Understands and revisits the risk profile as it evolves and changes Has the right people around them who are willing and able to raise concerns Connects with and influence other to encourage ‘risk intelligence’ in them Ensures appropriate action is taken to eliminate risk Listens, watches and probes to ensure that all concerns are out in the open Reinforces the agenda through systematic attention Sets the agenda for risk for his/her organisation

7 7 Stephen Watson Risk Intelligence of Leaders The ‘Risk Intelligence of Leaders’ tool examines a leadership teams ‘risk intelligence’ through their attitudes and behaviours The tool engages a leadership team through a set of searching questions around the nine key attributes using a five step process: The results provide guidance on how leaders can improve safety in their organisation by changing their behaviour and focus Select leadership team 1 Briefing/ communication 2 Develop and issue questionnaires 3 Completion of questionnaires 4 Analysis and reporting 5

8 8 Stephen Watson The outputs of the tool are presented visually – for any team we are interested in both average and minimum scores Risk Intelligence of Leaders Maximum, average and minimum scores achieved in a leadership group Comparison between a selected leadership team and ‘best in class’ scores

9 9 Stephen Watson Recommendations not only cover leader development but identify safety risk areas to target for improvement Risk Intelligence of Leaders Recommendations cover - how the leadership team can increase their risk intelligence - key areas of safety risks for improvement Focus areas Working at height Onsite management 2 4 Electricity Subcontractors 1 3 Example

10 10 Stephen Watson Our experience shows that the process itself and the results create real impact on leaders and their organisations Risk Intelligence of Leaders The process of completing the tool makes leaders engage with safety and think about how it applies to their role The response rate, and the quality of the returned questionnaires are themselves indicators of the culture of safety and leadership commitment Some leadership teams said that the results “told us what we already knew” which prompted the question “Why hasn’t something been done about it?” By involving the leaders the tool acts as an effective prompt for action and our previous experience is that the issues identified quickly become part of the next Annual Safety Plan with little additional work needed The tool gets leaders talking openly with their peers and direct reports about their ‘risk intelligence’ and their real impact on their organisation

11 11 Stephen Watson As the world’s first consultancy, Arthur D. Little has been at the forefront of innovation for more than 125 years. We are acknowledged as a thought leader in linking strategy, technology and innovation. Our consultants consistently develop enduring next generation solutions to master our clients' business complexity and to deliver sustainable results suited to the economic reality of each of our clients. Arthur D. Little has offices in the most important business cities around the world. We are proud to serve many of the Fortune 500 companies globally, in addition to other leading firms and public sector organizations. For further information please visit Copyright © Arthur D. Little All rights reserved. Contact: Stephen Watson Arthur D. Little Limited Science Park Milton Road Cambridge CB4 0FH United Kingdom Tel.: Contact details


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