As part of fostering a positive culture around the programs I am charged with - whether it be continuous improvement or safety, I engage all levels of the organization. Partnering with researchers was central for my mission to "CONNECT" with all labs, not inspect them. I make collaboration a sustainable part of the system by establishing committees, communities of practice, joint projects, partnerships, and programs. Learn more about my most recent campus-wide partnership, the Collaboration for Continuous Improvement here.
2. EMPOWER OTHERS
One of my favorite things to do is to show others what they are capable of. To do this, I create effective trainings, easy-to-use tools, and resources to empower others to take responsibility and be successful.
3. BE TRANSPARENT
I am not afraid to talk about the elephant in the room. The image to the right is filled with articles about several academic laboratory safety accidents, a few even fatal. Why did engineering hire a dedicated safety professional? Because they didn't want to become the next headline. Having the hard conversations helps get everyone on the same page about why something is important. Not all hard conversations have to be about life or death. Over the last year, my new role has required me to lead conversations about improving processes, which can be difficult because it implies something is wrong with how we do it now. Managing these conversations in a way that builds trust and gets us to the desired result is something I pride myself in.
Improvement cannot happen without measuring, monitoring, and implementing changes to advance key performance indicators. In 2014, I conducted a Safety Culture Survey which gave an honest picture of what typical attitudes and behaviors were towards safety in the college. To see highlighted results, click the image to right. The metrics I use now for process improvement are a little different, but just as important. What we measure, is what matters.
5. HAVE FUN!
All of the work we do can be challenging, highly technical and complex, but that does not mean we can't have fun while we do it! By injecting humor, cooperation, understanding and laughter into my workday, I try to lead by example to create a great work environment.