Creating A Safe Workplace with Clarity

Marc Cameron, Managing Director, Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper

Great leaders understand that clarity, whether it be of company purpose, values, objectives or priorities, is important for the health of a team and organization. While clarity is important for all leaders, my friend Marc Cameron knows that lack of clarity can be catastrophic for his team and in his industry. In Marc’s role as Managing Director at Rio Tinto Kennecott Copper, mistakes and lack of clarity can result in physically dangerous situations. 

“We start every meeting with a ‘zero harm’ share about health and safety so that it is top of mind right from the start. And, while the safety focus is absolutely critical, we also strive to have great clarity about the other business issues we will be discussing.”

Marc recognized that in order to be an effective leader for his team they needed a better system to ensure clarity in and after team meetings.

“I recalled something I learned while playing and coaching hockey: The best hockey coaches were always willing to stop play right in the middle of practice.” Marc goes on to explain that these pauses in the middle of practice reinforced good behavior and clarified actions that weren’t in alignment. Marc adopted that same practice with his team meetings.  Marc and his team stop staff meetings multiple times to make sure all of the decisions are clear, and everyone knows what actions to take, as well as to offer clear communication about those actions and decisions.

The result of this hard work on clarity? Marc and his team have seen near-historic lows of safety incidences and absentee rates.  

Read more about Marc’s passion for clarity in meetings in Rookie Mistakes: Advice From Top Executives on Five Critical Leadership Errors.

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