If 14 frogs sat on a log and three decided to jump into the water, how many would be left?
I know what you’re thinking – 11. It’s simple arithmetic, right? Wrong. Read the question again.
They decide to jump in; but the question doesn’t say they actually jump. So there are still 14 on the log. After all, there’s a big difference between our intentions and our actions.
Enough of the pond analogy; let’s talk about oil and gas. What’s stopping us from putting our perfectly good intentions into practice?
As humans, we have immune systems which work to maintain our health and keep harmful risks at bay.
Our subconscious systems are the same; when we face a change to the norm our subconscious reacts as if there is a serious risk or threat.
Our resistance to change happens when our individual unconscious energy sabotages our best intentions before we even realise it. But once you know this subconscious reaction exists, it can be controlled.
Whether we’re working as individuals, in teams or as a collective industry, we can be unconsciously guarded about delivering the changes we want to make. So we get trapped in the status quo; stuck in a rut; disheartened about transformation.
Imagine you’re sitting in a doctor’s surgery, being told quite plainly that if you don’t make radical changes to your diet or exercise plan, you won’t see Christmas. Understanding the reality won’t keep us alive; implementing the changes will.
The same goes for offshore safety. If we want to maintain our assets and keep workers safe – alive, even – we have to actually implement changes, not just dream about how great they would be. We can’t just intend; we have to do.
So what are you doing to keep people safe? At the UK Oil and Gas Industry Safety Awards, we saw a number of individuals, teams and organisations making the workplace safer.
Their ideas didn’t stop on a piece of paper; they were seen through with hard work and determination.
The result? Positive change. At the ceremony, we were joined by Paralympian athlete Karen Darke; an inspiring woman who didn’t just lie on her hospital bed dreaming about what she wanted to do; she actually went and did it.
Now, she has achieved some of the world’s hardest athletic feats, turning the seemingly impossible into the possible.
Stop sitting around on the log, contemplating change and dreaming of what the water could be like. Jump in. Put your intentions into actions and focus what is possible.
Les Linklater is an executive director at Step Change in Safety