“I knew that would happen some day.”
That’s the worst statement that can be heard when we investigate an accident.
It means we could have avoided it if someone spoke up.
It means at least one of us had identified an unsafe condition.
It means at least one person knew that a colleague’s behavior would get him in trouble if he kept repeating it.
It means that someone had been scared by a situation and knew it could or would recur.
It means that someone didn’t go out of their way to report it, because it was inconvenient to do so.
It means that someone didn’t point out the situation because it might ruffle feathers.
It means that someone didn’t report it, because they assumed it didn’t matter.
It should be a trigger: when you think something is going to happen bad some day if that keeps up, it’s a sign that you’ve been called to do something.
Speak up! Raise hell! Let’s eliminate these risks before they hurt someone.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.