May 12, 2009 | Mark Paradies

Is Understanding and Improving Corporate Culture Important at Your Facility?


It was part of the cause of the following accidents:

  • Challenger
  • Columbia
  • BP Texas City Refinery Explosion
  • Davis-Besse Reactor Vessel Hole (near-miss)
  • Chernobyl

Many think that establishing an appropriate corporate culture is the most essential cornerstone of maintaining a high performance organization.

What are you doing to understand, maintain, and improve the culture at your company?

Safety, quality, and equipment reliability improvement at your site might be impossible to improve without understanding and changing your corporate culture.

If you are interested in improving your understanding of culture and what you can do to change the culture at your company, there are some “must attend” sessions at the TapRooT® Summit (Nashville – October 7-9). Here’s the list…

200905051903.jpg First, attend the “Becoming the Best” session in the Safety Track. Dennis Osmer, who helped make a major change in corporate culture at Ciba Vision, will present “Pursuit of World Class EH&S.” Hear the lessons he learned that saved millions of dollars while improving injury and illness statistics.

200905051904.jpg In the same session, Brian Dolin will discuss “Systematic Safety and Process Safety Improvement.” Again, Brian brings tons of practical industry experience to efforts to improve safety that are dependent upon the culture of the organization. These first two talks will get your mind started on a journey to improved culture at your facility.

clare_solomon.jpg For the second breakout session, you need to choose between two informative talks. In the Safety Track you can hear Clare Solomon from the UK explain “Communicating Your Safety Message Effectively.” Her innovative and practical ways to get the message out are critical to any culture change program.

200905051907.jpg Or for this second breakout you may choose to hear Brian Locker’s talk: “Leadership for Doing Things Right.” Brian will discuss the differences he has observed first hand between organizations that excel and organizations that have major accidents. This is definitely a culture issue.

200905051912.jpg In the third breakout session, there is an opportunity to explore an issue that is a symptom at many sites with a troubled culture – people don’t report problems. You’ll jump over to the Safety Management Track and Kevin McManus, an expert in establishing business systems, will present: “8 Reasons People Don’t Report Problems and 8 Solutions to Improve Employee Involvement.” This talk really highlights effective, practical ways to get people involved in reporting problems (so they can be solved). This be a major improvement to a corporation’s culture.

200905051913.jpg The next talk that will really catch your interest is from Keynote Speaker Mike Kelley. He has practical experience establishing an amazing corporate culture as VP at TODCO. His Keynote talk, “Establishing a Culture that Promotes Super-Performance,” will share his vision for senior management in setting a high performance corporate culture. You will leave his talk more motivated and enthused to make culture change happen.

He will follow up the Keynote presentation with a breakout session (the fourth) in the Safety Track titled: “The Keys to Successful Safety Culture Change.” In this session he will get into the “how to” details of culture change. Mike speaks from real experience and you will appreciate his practical advice that he has used to successfully change culture in a high hazard industry (oil drilling).

200905051914.jpg In the fifth breakout session, you’ll transfer over to the Behavior Change Track to learn from Dr. Beverly Chiodo. Beverly is a management professor at Texas State University where she has won every teaching award they have. She brings her excellent presentation skills to her presentation: “Character Driven Success.” Understanding character is essential to establishing a positive, high performance culture. And nobody does a better job of explaining character than Dr. Chiodo. (PS: if you think a discussion of culture and character is boring, please note that Dr. Chiodo has received the highest ratings on this very session from past Summit attendees who say she is “awesome!”)

Next, in the sixth breakout session, Dr. Chiodo continues her discussion of character and culture with a talk titled Changing Behavior by Praising the 49 Character Traits.This is a practical talk about ways to apply Character Driven Success in the workplace. It is a real culture change tool.

200905052314.jpgIn the seventh breakout session, we head “Down Under” to learn some culture change secrets from the Aussies who are presenting “Safety Improvement Ideas from Down Under” in the Safety Track. Greg Allan’s talk, “Measuring Safety Performance & Improving Safety Culture” is great advice for those who want to measure culture improvement.

200905052315.jpg 200905052316.jpg

The Thursday afternoon Keynote address from Dave Prewitt and Mark Paradies : “Systematic Management of Improvement.” Managers use systematic methods to obtain financial results. Mark and Dave will discuss ways that safety can be improved using systematic methods/tools.

200905052317.jpgFriday morning, John Miller, a personal accountability expert, will present “Personal Accountability.” Accountability is a critical element of culture and John’s inspiring talk will get you motivated to take accountability for improvement.

Next, in the eighth keynote session, John will get into the specifics of personal accountability in his presentation: “Practical Lessons for Applying Personal Accountability.”

The final breakout session is time to develop your culture improvement plan. You’ll have a little over an hour to develop your plan and have it reviewed by an experienced TapRooT® Instructor.

Wow! That’s a culture improvement extravaganza. If “culture” is important to your company, this custom program at the Summit is a must attend improvement event.

But wait, as they say on TV, “There’s more!”

Before the Summit there is a Pre-Summit Course (October 5-6) – Improving Your Organization’s Safety Culture. This course was developed by one of our Australian TapRooT® affiliates. For more info, see:

And when you attend both the Summit and a Pre-Summit Course, you save $200 off the combined course and Summit tuition.

There are a limited number of seats in the Pre-Summit Course, so sign up today. For course and Summit registration, see:

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