Let’s examine the differences between organizations that have successfully implemented learning teams and the Safety II approach and those that have not. Two main distinctions arise: leadership mindset and understanding of the organization’s core operations.

Shifting Leadership Mindset for Organizational Progress

The first difference is the leadership mindset. Some organizations struggle to progress because the leadership team believes they’re doing everything possible to help. They may feel victimized by the workforce’s bad behaviors when incidents occur. For these organizations, progress requires leaders to become more curious and take accountability for ongoing issues. They must shift their focus towards managing resources and encouraging open communication within the organization.

Breaking Barriers: Leadership’s Operational Understanding

The second difference is the leadership team’s understanding of the organization’s core operations. This becomes a challenge when, for example, finance professionals lead a high-hazard industry company. They may feel vulnerable walking around a worksite or asking workers about potential difficulties. This lack of understanding can create significant barriers to progress, as leaders may be reluctant to show vulnerability.

In conclusion, successful implementation of learning teams and the Safety II approach relies on the leadership team’s mindset and their understanding of the organization’s core operations. To overcome these barriers, leaders must be willing to embrace curiosity, accountability, and vulnerability. This may require changes in the composition of the leadership team, ensuring that those with a deeper understanding of the business are in decision-making positions. By addressing these challenges, organizations can successfully adopt learning teams and drive meaningful improvements in safety and efficiency.