With 30+ years’ experience in her field, Aly is the go to HSE expert for many local and global Sustainability clients. Today, she shares her insights into the philosophy of what works when building HSE capability for the long term.
Simple, Scalable and Sustainable
The three “S” is the philosophy I apply when working with a client and supporting them to solve the problem they have engaged me to assist with. I have to confess I worry that the three “S” approach is seen as trope however I am convinced the approach is sound. So how does it translate within an organisation?
If it is complex the solution, whatever it is, won’t be applied.
The solution, whether it’s developing an operational risk register, creating a safe work method statement or preparing an explosives management plan it must fit the business and needs to be simple, easy to understand and easy to apply. The tools developed need to address the risks but fit the business. I often use the analogy of dressing up in a ballgown to get to a Barbecue… So, we aim for a ballgown if going to a ball, but if we are going to a BBQ then shorts and a t-shirt will do just fine.
There are very few businesses that plan to stay exactly as they are. Most have a strategic plan that sees them growing however we all know that our plans don’t always go according to schedule; the significant reduction in the export price of Iron Ore from $180 a tonne in 2012 to less than half by 2015 really brought this home hard. As a result, the solutions a business implements needs to be scalable. It needs to be able to adjust to the growth or decline in the business without having to be completely redesigned. This approach also works for smaller companies contracting to much larger companies. I remember working with a client who was contracting to one of the “giants” and they were simply copying and pasting the “giants” risk matrix in an effort to meet the tendering requirements. However, the client’s risk appetite was completely different. The solution was a much simpler, smaller and more suitable risk matrix that suited their risk appetite but met the “giant’s” requirements. Four years later the client has grown, and their risk matrix is still fit for purpose… no re-work required. Happy days.
and finally, Sustainable
This is almost counter intuitive coming from a consultant, but for most of my professional career I haven’t been a consultant. In fact, I was loathe to engage them. So, I guess the final “S” is my legacy but I still standby it.
The idea of a sustainable solution (and how handy is it that the Company I work for is called Sustainability) is that the solution for the client has to be one that they can manage on their own without having to rely on me, or any other consultant. When I walk out the door my expectation is that I have left the client with the solution that they requested but more than that a solution that they are able to apply and operate without my assistance. Don’t get me wrong; I hope to be called back but if it’s to do with the solution I have left them with I hope it’s to audit the implementation otherwise I hope that the call is for something new I can support them with.
Aly Vinciguerra, Principal HSEC Consultant – Sustainability Pty Ltd