January 6, 2015 | Mark Paradies

Does Your CEO Care? Should Your CEO Care?

One of the main complaints I hear is that management doesn’t provide enough support for performance improvement programs, accident/incident investigations, and root cause analysis.

One thing I’ve learned is that if senior management really cares, the rest of management will usually fall in line (or get fired).

That brings me to these questions …

Does your CEO care about performance improvement,
incident investigation, and root cause analysis?

Should they care?

Now for the answer…

An oil company had a fire on an offshore production platform. The fire knocked out a significant portion of the company’s gas production right in the middle of the heating season. The incident was mentioned on the front page of The Wall Street Journal because it would impact the company’s quarterly earnings.

What do you think? Did the CEO care?

How about the CEO at BP or Transocean when the Deepwater Horizon exploded, burned, and sank? Do you think they cared?

Or the CEO of Dixie Crystals when the factory in Savannah, GA, blew up?

Or the CEO at GM when she was called to testify in front of Congress about ignition switch problems that resulted in fatal auto accidents?

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These are examples of CEO’s that definitely cared AFTER THE FACT. They wished someone had stood up before the accidents and stopped the problems before they reached the CEO’s attention. And they all claimed to have no advance knowledge of the problems that lead to the accidents.

Therefore, the CEO should care and it may be your job to prevent the accidents that could happen so that your CEO never knows that they should care. Never has to appear in front of cameras and say that s/he is sorry. Never has to face a mad Congressional committee.

Perhaps you occasionally need to remind people how important it is to investigate small problems with the potential to become big problems and effectively fix the issues so that the CEO never hears about your facility.

That’s when you can explain why using the best advanced root cause analysis technique (TapRooT®) is so important and why senior management should be interested in ensuring that the company’s performance improvement program is best-in-class. 

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