I have had to make some difficult choices recently to ensure important aspects of my life received the right level of priority and attention. I am learning the importance of intentionality-I love that word. This applies to our families, careers, and especially to building a great culture of food safety. It’s not just going to happen!
The culture you have now is a result of doing or NOT doing what you have been doing up to now. If it is going to improve, it will be as a result of planned INTENTIONAL thoughts and actions. These thoughts and plans will have to be executed daily. Not just once in a meeting or training session. It’s going to have to be daily…and it might even be hard work.
I have been with several people this past week that truly inspired me. People with a passion to change a company and who are willing to make changes to themselves to bring out the best in other people for the goal of improvement. People who unselfishly try and make others comfortable. People who have made sacrifices to bring about change in the world around them. People who genuinely care and show this by their actions and not just their words. People who have made me want to be more and do more. That’s the kind of person you will need to be to be the catalyst for change in your food safety culture. If there are a few of you that are like-minded, it may be unstoppable.
It’s going to take more than just you to make a meaningful change although you shouldn’t underestimate the impact YOU can make. But they say the more the merrier! Bringing other people into your vision and passion will be more successful and sustainable in the long run. Can I suggest that as the quality manager it’s time to leave your office and go onto the floor and talk to the people who make it happen? Or why not invite them to your office for cake and coffee and have a chat. And do not forget to LISTEN! The reality is you do not have all the answers and they just might have the right solution you are looking for.
Want to know what to change to make a difference? Well, why don’t you ask the people who will be impacted by the changes? Yes, you may know more about the requirements of the standards but that doesn’t mean you know everything about everything or that your opinion is the right one. You may be looking for a complicated solution to a simple problem. Most cultures that need improving have communication challenges-it’s usually instructional and top-down. What if we started asking and then started listening instead.
So today why don’t you INTENTIONALLY go out there and INSPIRE someone to do more and be more. And why don’t you try and INCLUDE those who make food safety happen on the floor every day? What have you got to lose?