September 9

Dealing with Dilemmas


Despite advanced systems and improved monitoring the human factor still plays a major role in daily decisions. This stresses the necessity to create a consistent and aligned culture. As our control systems improve, it is increasingly our people that cause incidents and business disruptions. That’s why we should continue working on driving the organizational culture. In order to motivate employees to become involved in the development of a culture, we use several approaches. I would like to discuss the method of business games using tailored game cards (e.g. SafetyFirstTM).

Addressing difficult issues in a game

To get understanding and reflection, participants would for example discuss five situations that are causes of major dilemmas and they would have to decide whether or not they agree with the made statements. For instance one dilemma could be “It’s OK to make a separate phone call during a meeting” or “We don’t write a report when a colleague breaks rules”. The first statement might be easy to accept, however, the second statement might lead to intense debate.

The most interesting aspect of this approach is that during the workshops the attendees have intense dialogues. The game forces the participants to take a stand on issues. This tool helps to simplify very complex matters and the participants can set aside everyday life. It makes it much easier to talk about issues that can be difficult to discuss in daily work or which could not be otherwise discussed with the necessary objectivity.




Drawing up practical proposals  – source: Workz

Central organisation, local implementation

The process can be designed so that managers are being trained to organise their own theme day on culture in their teams. This makes sure the team leaders own the process and can hold constructive talks with their teams. At the end of the workshop, the participants can be asked to complete action cards showing how the problems identified were to be tackled in the future. After the workshops, the participants will feel more responsible for business critical decisions.



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