If Australian companies are to succeed in their efforts to truly and effectively manage risk and drive positive cultural change we must “kill off” the principles of reasonable practicability and reasonable management action.
For too long now (read: forever) employers have been lulled into this false sense of comfort that by doing all that is reasonably practicable that they are compliant and meeting expectations.
Well … this is just not true on any real measure.
I have been prosecuting and training extensively in the field of risk management and compliance now for over 20 years and I am convinced – beyond doubt, that companies are failing to come even close to their full potential because of their limiting beliefs and standards built around the principles of reasonable management action and practicability .
This observation is not unique to any industry either. Whilst it will vary in magnitude business to business or even site to site, this adoption of “average” is truly the biggest barrier I have seen to actual success in the achievement of aspirational outcomes.
I have never seen a business promote its services or products as reasonable or average – have you?
Yet, this is exactly what is promoted (and sadly legislated for) internally! Why such a disconnect?
It actually defies logic and guarantees frustration and unnecessary vulnerability.
To optimise and maintain a risk management system you have to take constant, strategic and massive action. There is nothing reasonable or average about that!
I challenge my audiences all the time – have you optimised even the foundation element of risk management, namely the proactive identification of hazards?
No one – not one company has ever shown me they have. Not one – still waiting.
Just look at how much additional work is done by employers after an incident.
Why! Is it because they were not serious or it could not be done? Of course it was. It is just that companies consistently fail to acknowledge the extent of the challenge. They do what everyone else does. They become tolerant to half-fixes, which of course just breeds mediocrity. They unknowingly subsist in the world of average.
Until companies acknowledge that average really is a failure in disguise, no transformational change can occur. It is a myth that reasonable practicability is the goal or a solution.
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