Magazine article Occupational Hazards

World-Class Safety: Leading for Organizational Excellence

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

World-Class Safety: Leading for Organizational Excellence

Article excerpt

According to Pat McDonnell, president and CEO of the McDonnell Co., Lake Forest, Ill., "As soon as you accept 'good enough' instead of excellence, you're on a slippery slope to mediocrity."

Speaking at the ASSE "Achieving World-Class Safety" seminar in New Orleans, McDonnell said companies need to change because they cannot progress doing things the same way. Plus, he added, excellence differentiates companies from their competitors.

According to McDonnell, there are six steps to organizational excellence:

* Understand the fundamentals of change.

* Create a values-based community.

* Practice principled leadership.

* Develop a strategic plan.

* Execute the plan.

* Achieve continuous improvement.

Pride, he continued, is the real motivator. Fear is short-term and negative ("Do it this way or lose your job."), while greed ("Do it and win a prize.") only works in certain situations and is very oriented to the individual, rather than changing the culture. "Pride is the ultimate motivator in organizations of excellence," said McDonnell. "What motivates firefighters to run into burning buildings? The stock options? I don't think so."

In order for change to occur, he said employees will go through several steps, including denial ("We don't need this. …

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