In 1983, Prochaska & DiClemente theorized that there was process of making behavioral change. This five step model was developed while evaluating how people changed from unhealthy to healthy behavior. From a safety standpoint, there are many similarities in how behavioral change is made. Safety is about choices and behaviors that come with a healthy approach to the workplace and risk.
If I were to summarize the past few weeks worth of posts, it would be that culture takes time to create. Behaviors are not created or changed quickly.
Stage 1: Time = Unknown
Stage 2: Time = 6 months
Stage 3: Time = 30 days
Stage 4: Time = 6 Months
Stage 5: Time = Ongoing
For the entire course of the process of change, time = 13 months. Over one year to make the change!
An analogy to think of is to compare culture and behavior as a flower. The flow grows and blooms at its appropriate time. Not sooner, not later. The flower can be encouraged through having the right environment. It may help the flower grow faster and stronger. But, it is still at the right time when the conditions are ready.
Creating a new culture of behavior in an organization takes time. There are ways the the environment can help to speed the process, but the process still has to take place at its own time and means. The goal of safety leadership is to provide the right environment to assure that the environment is ripe for the culture to emerge and take root. The process is worth the time and effort as once it is in place in the correct way, it can help in creating a self-sustaining cycle of improvement.