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Hey there, and welcome to industrial talk. This is a special episode where we were broadcasting live from the manufacturing and technology show. So you're going to hear some background noises on this particular conversation, but I wanted to put this on your calendar. This year's events. This is the manufacturing technology show and it is scheduled for October 18. Through the 20th, it is back in Cleveland, Ohio. And if you haven't been to Cleveland, you must put that on your bucket list. Great people, great food, great experience, you will not be disappointed. And of course that show is going to be even better than last year's show. So put that on your calendar. That is the manufacturing and technology show. So let's get on with the interview.
Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge Industry Focus innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots,
and let's Alright, welcome to industrial talk. Once again, this is the number one it was voted number one recently of the best manufacturing related and industry related podcast in the universe. I don't know who's been voting for it, but I am going to run with that. Like I know what I'm doing. And we are broadcasting live from the manufacturing and technology show as well as the safety leadership show here in Cleveland, Ohio. Put that on your bucket list because Cleveland is a beautiful town with great people. You got to do it. Now. You're in a hot seat in the industrial talk Hot Seat. We got a gentleman by the name of Rick. Don't Don't Don't Don't don't jump in Rick. Don't Where's your car? Don't jump in Rick. Don't Don't do that. Full Weiler. I can't even read my my own chicken scratch. That's awful, isn't it? No, not really. It is it's You're too kind. Yeah. You haven't a good conference?
I am. I am. It's been a good conference. Yeah, it's good to get out to a live audience for a change.
Come on, you know, that's the case. Amen. I mean, yes, I understand. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly with the pandemic. Everybody knows about it. But you know, what, what I believe me personally believe as a positive component of the pot. We recognize the necessity that we need. We're, we're humans, and we need to collaborate. We need to, we need to do that. And yeah, see, and it's absolutely wonderful now, Dr. Rick, give us a look. What are you Dr. And by the way,
I'm a occupational health and toxicology. That's a
mouthful. It sounds important. Far more important than my title, not at all. So give us a little background on what that means and who you are. And then we're just going to venture into this transformational leadership because that's important.
I think it is to
Yeah, because you have a book.
No, I don't know. That's too much work. Yeah.
Yeah, go ahead and talk to us.
Well, you know, I don't think I can mirror Scott's enthusiasm. But But let's, let's get on with this. I've been in this field a long time. I've been in the health and safety field now for 62 years, and spent spent it up my major career with Procter and Gamble where I know their global director for health and safety. So that's the real world. Then I retired and decided to do a little consulting, little teaching a little speaking, little writing. And I joined the faculty of a little, little University up in the north, northeast Harvard School of Public Health, and I've been affiliated with Harvard now for the last 26 years. So that's Harvard. I know, I know, it's not that snobby. I'd never be there was but but we, I'm tired of the other side of that. So we, we teach a course and leadership and management for EHS professionals and it's just, it's just been a very successful course, probably the only one in the country that's devoted to leadership and management for health, safety and environmental professionals.
Here's, here's the reality of safety. And, and in manufacturing, or any other industry, it is always looked upon, with what sort of like, what a pain you're here to, to prevent me from doing my job, right? You're here to slow me down and and, and that has to change.
You know, Scott, that, you know, in my career I that's how it started. And, and I know when I go in to talk to a newly promoted vice president of manufacturing, for example, I'm sure they rolled their eyes. Ricky, you know, tell us what we need to do and get the hell out of here. And it early in my career, though. What I found was, if you can, if you can merge the the case for health and safety deal with the success of the organization, then you have an entirely different perspective. It goes from looking at health and safety as a staff cost necessity to a building business asset. That's not simple. It has to be done with hard examples. Yeah,
that is huge. If you can do that, if you can tie the bottom line growth of your business financially with a, a robust safety leadership type of program. Yeah, I think you've got something there. And you're absolutely right. I can say without a doubt that 100% of all facilities I have been in, do not look at it that way. 100%, how do we do that?
Well, well, you know, you do that you do that a number of ways. But one, one of the ways you do that is trying to measure your health and safety output in terms of business outputs. And the best example I can give I use is, is sales equivalent dollars. Let's say that, that an incident costs you $10,000. And okay, so that's $10,000 that you're throwing away. But if you're working for a company with a profit margin of 5%, they have to have $200,000, with the sales to make up for that $10,000 in loss. Once you communicate that man that message to senior managers, they care about the human side, but then that that business size is holy cow, I didn't know that.
Come on. Do they say that? Come on, you know that it you know, they sit there, they have an incident? And I know, I lived it. I know it. And I knew exactly what that was going to cost me. And they just like, wow, I didn't know that. Come on.
No, they they don't think like that. You know, they don't think you know that when when you needed to get
that widget done. I need to get that thing. Yeah, no, you're right, get
the widgets out the door. But it's it's a slow transformation, I had good experience at Procter and Gamble making that sale. And that's one of the things I still do professionally now is offer workshops on building the business case for health and safety.
Okay, so let's say it sounds good. All right. Dr. Rick, you're talking my language, here's like, Ah, this is great stuff. How do you go into an organization? And you've just talked to the executive people? And of course, there's always a rift between executive and people on the front line, and you got all that cultural dynamics that exist within an organization? How do you begin that process? And I would imagine it's case by case, I would imagine it's leadership by leadership, but how do you what sort of in general, what do you do?
Okay, now, the first thing you got to understand Scott is, is if I'm going to be called into an organization to work with them, that organization has made a decision that they want to achieve excellence. That's so so I'm going into an organization that is, at least at the start receptive to listening to a message, I'm not going to be invited into an organization to help them go from below average, to average. So once you have that, then then you got to sit down, talk with their senior management, see, see where they resonate. The last organization that I interface with at a had a very tragic incident, and they were very concerned about the human element, not the business element of health and safety. So you leverage that, and and then you build the business element in that. So they understand, hey, we're improving the human element. But we're also improving the business element and that synergy, and that's I know, it's a coined word, but But it's great when you get senior management looking at it that way.
Here's the challenge. I see. And I love what you're saying. It has to happen. We have to invest in a very methodical way in our safeties that that makes it like a good business case to do it got to do it, it's important. Got it. But over the years, you've got a lot of headwind ahead of you, right. There's just a lot of stuff. Hey, look at we've got the posters on the wall, and they've saying you safety begins with you. And that becomes numb and everything's Nam and and, and and we've had our executive saying, we're a safety centric culture. And then when everybody's like, Alright, cool, we're safety and that's all good, right? Until that motor breaks, and then I can't get my material out, and then I'm going to cut corners to try to get that material out. And then all of a sudden, to trust it's all of a sudden gone. It's gone.
Okay. And that's, that's part of the real world. It's gonna change everything, but you use the term safety culture. If it were just talking about this earlier that I do not believe in a strong safety culture. I wrote an article that article was is titled A strong safety culture. No and hell no. And of course, I did that to be provocative. If you want to be if you want to be excellent if you want to achieve excellent results, you don't have a safety culture, you have safety inculcated integrated into the organization's culture. If safety is part of the DNA of the nation, you're not going to, you're not going to have the problem that line breaks down in the in the demand or just saying, Oh, we're losing production, but we got to bring it back up safely. because safety is part of the overall culture. If you separate safety, he'll say, oh, yeah, I know that safety is important, but we get the damn production. Right. Right. But But if he understands that safety is part of their DNA, yeah, he or she is going to take a different perspective and bringing that line back up.
All right, let's shift gears here real quick. All right, you were speaking at this event? What was the topic?
The topic was a transformational safety leadership, and how to get an engaged workforce in a COVID altered world,
outside of the fact that that's a hell of a mouthful. And I probably couldn't spell half of us know. So what does that mean?
Well, I think I think what it means is, first of all, you have to understand the difference between transactional leadership and transformational you
talk to us because you mentioned it prior to this conversation, of course, that piqued my interest. What what is that?
Well, a transactional leader is strictly focused on on numbers on metrics, total recordable incident rates,
which is 99% of everybody out there.
Absolutely. OSHA compliance. And and so what I find is working with large organizations is they tend to be hardwired on the transactional side. And transformational leadership is where you do care about the output, but you care about the people doing the output. Okay, that's all right. You've got it. If you want excellence, think of a team. If you have a team, and this team is kind of well, yeah, okay. It's okay. But you got another team, and you know, their head and heart is in the game. Yeah, which team's gonna win the game? So I'm not about average, if a man wants to have average, I don't really want to talk to Dr. Rick, he's not about average. No, and I'm talking about Excellent. So I want to we want to deal with people who want the head and heart in the game, get their workers engaged, when their workers are engaged, they're going to drive better safety results, but they're also going to drive better business results. And we've got hard numbers to prove that. So what we did today was was talking about concepts and principles, people understood a transformational leader is one that cares about the workers, but cares also about the output. And and that leader has to show that it can't just be window dressing. Oh, and there are
skills you want to shoot something down in a jet second, yeah. spout all that and then not care about it? Yeah, absolutely.
Absolutely. So we talked about some skill sets, you have to be a good listener, you have to really show you care, and you got to be willing to engage. And that means from the boss on down, engage with the people talk to the people.
Sounds good. I like it.
You sound like a cynic.
No, no. And, sadly, sadly, I've been in many organizations, and let's say something like a mid to small type of company, where safety is important, and they have you, you can't, you can't have some sort of organization run like Mad Max, right? You don't want that. But, but the reality is, is that this is this is heavy lifting. Because when you have OSHA, and and, you know, your compliance, even even the word is its compliance, right? Very empowering. It is and you, you know, you shaking your boots because you want to comply with OSHA, and yet the data, everybody knows about OSHA, you have the data doesn't change.
Okay, take that. I don't care if it's a small, large or medium Corporation. But, but if that if that enterprise is focused strictly on OSHA compliance, they'll achieve about average, maybe slightly above average. Yes. So that's all they're gonna go. So my point is, unless the leadership of that organization decides, hey, we're tired of being average, we want to be above average, then the door is open to talk about how do you get there, right. And that's where you start talking about transformational leadership. That
is the only way you're gonna be able to do it. Yes, only way and because because you're right. If I'm shooting for OSHA standards, or I'll hit it, I might be a little bump, but I'm not going to surpass it. No What, why? Because I'm in compliance on right there.
That's what will get you the other. The other thing that will drive is in unfortunately, companies or enterprises might have a safety tragedy. And that might be a True epiphany Yeah, no, I've worked with companies that have had that. And so Oh, yeah, they're good for about a year or two, and then they're back to normal. I'm working with a company now, who's had that safety epiphany. And they're still committed to becoming one of the world's safety company, safest companies 13 years after that incident, so, so it doesn't always stick.
Yeah, but but as long as you keep at it, yep. Yeah. So, so I'm listening out there. Well, no, I'm talking. So I'm a listener out there. And the listener says, gosh, I like what Dr. Rick is talking about. I'm a manufacturer, I want to know about more about that. Transformational Leadership, how do I get started? What do I need to do? How do I get a hold of Dr. Rick? Well,
I'm I'm an old timer, and I don't even have a website. So the only way they're gonna get a hold of me is is through my email address, or my phone and
go check that email address. Yeah, it's a Gmail. Yeah, it is. Well done. And it is our D, F, BMW, and he's the president. Yeah, mad skills. I don't know about that. Oh, give me a break. Don't sit there over here, and then shoot down what you said, because you're an absolute Rockstar when it comes to this, because safety is important. It is. And we've got to constantly challenge and rethink of how we approach our business from the safety perspective. And I like that transformational approach. Thank you for being on industrial talk.
Well, Scott, thanks for having me. I really enjoyed it.
It was a good time, wasn't it? It was one tell all what the heck because it manufacturing everybody is absolutely spectacular. Absolutely. All right. If you're not, you're saying Scott, I gotta get a hold of this. Dr. Rick, and I still didn't get the email. Fair enough. We're gonna wrap it up on the other side. So stay tuned.
You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.