About: Safety Butterfly

At Safety Butterfly our aim is to reverse engineer the butterfly effect, so that we can stop the hurricanes from happening. That is, to control the initial conditions in such a way that doesn’t cause harmful chaos in the workplace.

 

Systems Thinking

To do this, we intend to simplify the complicated to avoid chaos.

Generally, workplaces that run a health and safety management system are running a “complex” system of interacting parts, that act as “initial conditions” to the outputs/result being produced. These systems are improved through feedback cycles, which contribute to the system self-improving its own effectiveness as time goes on, through continued learning from experience. When competent professional people are involved, the complex systems also self-organise themselves through the formation of informal social groups, that see some components hold higher levels of influence over others whilst the organisation functions as one. This potentially skews the results of the entire complex system, leading to the most influential social leaders setting the direction of the entire organisation.

When the complex system stops learning from experience by no longer behaving as a complete organised unit, then a state of “chaos” can commence producing random results. Symptoms of this organisational chaos include:

  • Departments not being clearly identified and individuals not actually knowing what their roles and duties are
  • Departments not communicating with each other and demonstrate personal conflicts with other departments
  • Departments doing their own thing and setting their own direction away from the overall organisation direction
  • Feedback cycles not being in place or not being taken seriously
  • No strategy being set and implemented from the organisation leaders
  • Individuals within departments acting in their own way, often procrastinating and finding reasons not to contribute to the organisation’s work

When it’s easy and rewarding to purposely contribute to achieving an organisation’s goals, through becoming an integrated part of an effective complex system, then individuals generally choose to do so and become engaged. When individuals are engaged within the system, the system naturally learns from its experience and the results being produced improve exponentially through focused-momentum. This includes accidents and incidents being prevented more effectively and eventually becoming totally eliminated.

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