Change?? How do you manage? U’ll never walk Alone ! (YNWA)

One of key aspect that we all embrace whether we like it or not is CHANGE ?? (Jokes Apart), As the saying goes, Nothing is permanent except CHANGE” So maturity and success of an organisation is measured by change/evolution as happens in its journey more so in today’s fast paced times. In terms of ESH, it covers the maturity path guiding the change.  But Change is never easy and for change to be effective the below equation has to he held GOOD!


I got this below interesting picture from my Good Friend and colleague from USA, who shared it yesterday which triggered this post. So True it is, and as for ESH management to correlate, it covers Leadership, Competence, Motivation, Adequacy of Agents and Execution as key ingredients to make things happen. Even if one of the component is missing or inadequate, then it leads to Chaos, uncertainty, undesirable outcome besides making things do all again.


I was very fortunate to have Read John Kotter’s book a few years back. It helped me immensely in executing the ESH change in culture when we went about doing ESH executions in our new mergers/acquisitions for business growth or for new engagements. These things needless to say, go beyond geography, culture. 


From EHS standpoint, for changes to be made effective, ESH folks need to create a baseline to know where they stand. Measuring baseline as a final fixed number (say %) and to see which phase of maturity path in which organisation is in. The measurement involves following aspects:-

  1. Leadership support
  2. Communication/Consultation /Planning.
  3. Systems and Process for ESH implementation at current status.
  4. Change Management Current level.
  5. Management Support with interface of ESH with other functions
  6. Employee Involvement/Motivation/Participation/Engagement
  7. Contractor/Visitor Programs.
  8. Organisation Structure and Style for getting things done.
  9. Measurement of metrics which impacts ESH
  10. Accountability for performance
  11. ESH Operational excellence of Knowing-Doing Gap???

Companies can know where they stand from the Bradley Curve which is a benchmark to guide and move from there on. Needless to say “LEADERSHIP should be dissatisfied with current status” and want CHANGE as a precursor!!! This is where ESH professionals can provide input through data from baseline measurement.


For ESH Change to be effective I keep insisting, that it starts with Engineering, Technological change as first and foremost. Of course, Risk management of hierarchy of Controls also insist Engineering controls at the top! Rest of aspects follow suit and it is only that way to bring in Change leading to ESH performance enhancement.As Hudson Curve shows below, you need horses for courses and only engineering excellence can taper down the Injury/incident rates to an acceptable level as initial intervention. Also, Engineering changes are fast, swift, quick to implement besides Machines Don’t Protest!!! 


Once the baseline is determined, action plan is worked, implement the change through 7S models aligning action plans to the 7S. Work the Sub action plans with 7s linkage with Who, What, When, How!! Track them closely. Like any operating system, consider Strategy, Structure and Systems as Hardware and Skills, Staff, Style as Software to execute the action plans worked for change.

seven-sOf course on the practical side, change is never easy as Chip and Dan Heath explain in their best seller book! “SWITCH” . So unless the culture of organisation is for change in all area of operation and move forward ahead for better, ESH change as standalone program would be a tough uphill battle.

So Good Luck with Change. God Bless!!


21/3/17 1500 Hrs.

PS: You Will Never WALK ALONE!!!! if you wondered??? (Football fans will get this!!)

Author: Karthik B; Orion Transcenders. Bangalore.

Lives in Bangalore. HESS Professional of 30+ yrs experience. Global Exposure in 4 continents of over 22 years in implementation of Health, Environment, Safety, Sustainability. First batch of Environmental Engineers from 1985 Batch. Qualified for implementing Lean, 6Sigma, HR best practices integrating them in to HESS as value add to business.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: