Sara Lodge is co-director of Beehive Coaching and Leadership Development and b.SAFE Safety Culture, an organisational development consultancy with a specialism in behaviour change.
Having worked in the field of organisational learning for over twenty years, and safety culture for the last ten, her background in organisational development enables her to bring a different perspective and new ideas to understanding risk, safety education and safety culture.
Her aim is to do away with the phrase ‘soft skills’ and replace it with ‘soft power’, which she feels is a better description of how developing personal attributes such as courage, emotional resilience, integrity, accountability and leadership results in behaviour change through commitment not coercion, making a significant impact on safety behaviours and ultimately resulting in culture change. She believes that the next step change in safety will result from developing who people are – the personal characteristics required to challenge, question, give and receive feedback, engage people, be open, be accountable, admit mistakes – and not simply what they do.
b.SAFE seeks to make changing safety culture easy based on the principle of ‘change the conversation, change the culture’. It’s a principle that appears simple but is profound – changing who you talk to about safety , how you talk to them, when you talk to them, what you talk to them about, what your intentions are and therefore the outcomes, can lead to significant changes in safety culture.
Sara works on the organisational development principle that any change that you want to see take place elsewhere in an organisation has to take place in the top team first. So if you want more accountability, compliance, transparency, collaboration or engagement with safety on site, for example, and less silo thinking, competitiveness and misunderstanding, make sure that’s what’s happening in the boardroom first.
Her catch phrase is ‘leadership – it’s personal!’