Category Archives: Cultural

Why It Is So Difficult to Change Your Safety Culture

One of the areas which is the subject of a great deal of discussion is the safety culture of an organization. To test the safety culture in your organization can be difficult. If you hold a position of authority, people are likely to give you the answers they think that you want. This means that you could have a totally false impression of the prevailing safety culture.

A safety culture is built up over a long period of time within an organization. It seems to absorb all the negative things that are thought or mentioned about safety. Memories are long and incorrect. Often incidents are misinterpreted and added to the folk lore.

There are some questions you can ask that may reveal information you are seeking. An example is this, “If you were recommending a friend to come and work here, how would you describe how our safety works.” If you ask a cross-section of people the same question and note the answers, you may end up with a snapshot of your safety culture.

Another question could be, “If you had a magic wand, what three things would you change about our safety here to improve it?” Again, note the answers and review those comments which are repeated by several people.

The problem arises when you investigate a subject like this and you don’t like the answers. What if you discovered a perception that there was a culture of blame? What do you do then? How can you modify the prevailing safety culture so that it is more aligned with what you want?

The difficulties start to arise when you realize that you can’t prescribe it, you can’t force it, you can’t impose or regulate it. You are powerless to urge, press or push for it. A safety culture is organic and develops within the workplace environment. It will grow in the “right” circumstances.

These circumstances include positive reinforcement, gentle encouragement, leading by example and respect for the individual. Respect for the individual includes creating a positive environment where staff members can decide the boundaries of safe and unsafe behavior. It’s about allowing them the ability to decide consequences for noncompliance of their safety regime. It includes encouraging staff to draw up the procedures and protocols for safe working.

As you can see, providing this sort of environment is way outside the comfort zone of most people in the workplace, especially those at supervisory and management level. These are the people who need to have a completely open mind to contribute to such a complete change in business philosophy. Without this cooperation at every single level within the organization, the safety culture will gradually deteriorate.

Post Cultural Revolution

Neo Cultural Revolution

It’s been now 36 years, when the Cultural Revolution was officially terminated and it may take another 100 years until we know really what happened and the real consequences. Nevertheless, there are some unequivocal facts like the blood spilled by the Regime to quell any sort of opposition.

The question that everyone asks is: What is Modern Chinese Culture? And the answer is a very complex universe that amounts to one form of expression to replace the old politics; the worship of money. The worship of consumerism; a ever so growing worship of the New God: Money.

This may shock many, but it should not come as a surprise. The present system can only sub exist on the basis that the population is distracted, buying the new mobile phones, cars and new flats; build in the expense of the misery of one billion people that are under one of the biggest expression of social engineering ever designed by mankind.

The only new expressions in the New China, can be described in basically on 3 levels; the new foreign logos (mostly KFC and McDonald’s), massive concrete- steel structures and the black German limousines that the Chinese leaders adore so much to receive a new one every year. As far as culture, ideals or reform it’s been the very same feudal society with a brutal Regime that operates on the basis of force and fear as in the past 5 000 years of Chinese history. Lately the NYT, have reported on the new strategy of the Government of simply “getting rid” of any individual that poses any opposition on any shape or form, while keeping the Nobel prize winner behind bars, for no good reason. The fact that world has now elected the new “darling of the global economical system”, explain that the real change has been in the way the Regime, plays and spins in the world stage with a fair amount of success. In the old days the tanks would roll on a public square, now days the oppression is perhaps much bigger and violent, but is designed with the assistance of the new technology, mostly offered by the West, to evade the eyes of the world media and local population. The trees are falling in the forest every day, but no one hears about it. And yes, with the open check buying and spending to assert its power.

It’s a sad spectacle to watch especially when all academia, politicians and elite are in support of this new social engineering experiment while enjoying their recent looted bonanza, and undeserved media attention to what amounts virtually to a state of nothingness as far as an “emerging civilisation” with new ideas, culture and progressive alternatives to the challenges of mankind. It is simply and unfortunately a nation state housing a colossal labour camp by force at the service of the corporations and the elite in power. And this includes most of all major western companies, of course with the blessing of the political powers.

So the name of the only cultural doctrine is “keeping the order” with the perpetuation of the so called “open door policy” Kai Feng, to legitimise the right of the elite to claim their wealth as the modern Mandarins of China; to earn and exploit the masses, the national wealth with unrestricted and absolute power while the people have to bend, to conform and give up their free will or any individual rights. Total power and no opposition allowed.
Let me quote a Chinese professor, a true expert in China, Confucius and world affairs Ku Hong Ming, from his book; The Spirit of the Chinese People:

Now in order to estimate the value of a civilisation, it seems to me, the question we must finally ask is not what great cities, magnificent houses, what fine roads, and is able to build; what beautiful and comfortable furniture, what clever and useful tools and institutions, what art and sciences it has invented: the question we must ask, in order to estimate the value of a civilisation – is, what type of humanity, what kind of mean and women it has been able to produce. It is the essence, the personality, so to speak, the soul of that civilisation.

And this is why we are faced with a cultural vacuum that has emerged after the Cultural Revolution in the core of this admirable people whereby in the recent past the so called modern state and new mandarins has grossly misrepresented the true spirit and culture of the Chinese Civilisation.

No doubt the cement and steel structures will one day disappear in thin dust, while the essence and the amazing Chinese Cultural Legacy will reemerge once again to illuminate the days in our future.