Clause 5 - Leadership

Hi, in this short video, we're going to talk about clause five leadership from the ISO standards.


As you are probably aware, leadership was not a clause in the previous versions of the standards.


In terms of top management, they're expected to build to demonstrate that they are taking accountability for the effectiveness of the system, and they want to try and drive objectives, establishing them and communicating that.





Often these might be organisational KPIs, for example. But it's important to recognize that high level organisational KPIs should also be possible, cascaded down to departmental project level and even down to individual level objectives, KPI’s, goals.


It's also important to recognize that when these objects are set, ideally they're looking at focusing on genuine, measurable objectives. Not, 'we are going to cure world hunger', or 'we are going to double our production'.


It's not that you can't say you're going to double your production, but you have to put it into context, you have to say how you're going to achieve it, and what methods you're going to use to get that and how you're going to do it, and the measurement you're going to use across that.


Another key thing here is about promoting. It's really important that leadership across a business is promoting. Remember when we talk about leadership, it's not just the MD, it's not just the board of directors. It's leadership throughout the business, and what they are adding and what they're bringing to the table.


We want to ensure that these leaders are making people aware of activities and the requirements of the management system and what it is that they're trying to achieve, what's the intended results of it?


It's not just about certification. Just because you've got a certificate on the wall doesn't mean you're not going to harm someone, doesn't mean that you're not going to have errors in your production line.


What is it that we want to achieve as our end goal?


We want to retain certification or achieve it if you haven’t yet, but ultimately you want to use the system to drive improvement.


What types of improvement do we expect to see?


We should be looking at what our performance was before.


I'm not a great lover of zero harm - we will not hurt anyone, because that shouldn't see as an objective, it's almost a legal requirement. It's more about focusing on what happened last year or the year before, and how can we try and drive that forward and improve on it.


The other key thing about leadership team is being able to demonstrate that they have a customer focus.


What is it that they're trying to achieve in terms of customer requirements?


What are the risks associated to achieving those requirements?


What focus is put on this in terms of the method and how it is delivered? The method and how it is checked and the method and how it is communicated to the customers.


It is also a requirement from a top down policy and policies, really not so much an internal auditable activity, what I would say about the policies from an internal audit point of view,


· are they setting the scene?

· are they demonstratable that they are implemented across the business so that:-

People are aware of what they are,

and people know why they're there.

What's the purpose of them?


The policies should be much more about what it is your organisation wants to try and do. What scene do they want to set so that others can follow?


Leadership ultimately have to commit to the resources and the roles, responsibilities and authorities. They have to take some ultimate responsibility, but actually, how do they cascade that down through the business so that the management system can work.


For example, a leader who sets a very challengeable objective that then doesn't commit to implementing the resources and assigning the roles, responsibilities and authorities to achieve it, is not really setting the company up very well for success.


When your organisation sets objectives, you can look at an auditing point of view.


This is the objectives that we have set


· what it is we're trying to achieve?

· how are we going to achieve it?

· what resources and commitments have we put in place as an organisation to demonstrate how we are going to do it?


and then importantly,


· how well are we doing?


Some good examples of strong leadership are going out and asking,


· is the system working for them?

are the processes, procedures and activities that they're involved in working for them and the jobs that they've been asked to do?

or the tasks, the ability to achieve or the objectives at that level.


· is the system working for them?

are there things that we could do as a business?

are there things that a leader can do to help make that happen better?


What about attending workforce engagement meetings,


· if there's a quality meeting or a

· health and safety meeting, whatever that may be,

· even if it's a small toolbox talk,

· or a chat about an increase in quality issues or a

· chat about improvement and quality.


Its good practice for leaders to be able to demonstrate that they may not attend all of these things, but their presence is seen, they're engaging with the workforce, possibly introducing the meeting, or maybe coming in at the end, or maybe just being there to observe and be open to receive any questions.


When it comes to improvement areas, often the people that are doing the work are the ones that are exposed to the issues and recognize the issues and maybe hear the flack of the problems that occur. Involving them, not necessarily them coming up with what needs to be done - although that can sometimes be the case. But often it's a case of, if you're coming up with new ways of working, new things you're going to do, it involves change and improvement, involve them in what you're proposing, involve them and get feedback on what the impact might be to them, and what they think, involvement of the workforce in assessing hazards and risks.


I don't know how many times I've been to a business and I've seen the health and safety manager complete all of the risk assessments he has, when he's inducted everyone, he's let them read the risk assessment when they've been inducted into the site, but at no time has the person that's really doing the job been involved in assessing the hazards.


I think it's important a good leader demonstrates that they're there to provide guidance and support and a bit of education where required, but ultimately, the people that are doing the job, the workforce that are involved in those areas where the hazards are, these are the people that have to be doing the assessment. They need to recognize what the hazard is and be able to see the reason that the control measures are in place, in particular, if things change and those hazards change slightly or additional hazards come in, you want them to have the knowledge, to be able to see that and adjust things or stop the job to communicate what's occurred.


Some poor examples: -


· expecting others to follow the system but ignoring themself.

· I don't care what the risk assessment says, just get on with the job and get it done.

· not following the rules.


We put in place a health and safety guide to try and drive improvement change behaviours,


· but one of the leaders is counteracting that by not following anything that's set out within the business associated to PPE, and really creating a very, very difficult job for the health and safety advisor.

· not engaging with the workforce,

· not getting feedback.


You know, good leadership is about communication.


It's about getting down there and working with them, not involving the workforce in significant changes.


Grey areas, where you can audit against, where there's been some changes that have occurred, improvements, whatever those changes have been,


· involving others to look and see how those changes have gone about

· how effective they have been.


Where others have not been involved with the actual work force that is affected by the change or not involved. What impact has that had?


And ignoring legal requirements, possibly placing others at risk at the same time.


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