In every organization, leaders and employees occupy distinct vantage points within the operational structure. While leaders possess a viewpoint of strategic vision and have access to resources, it is the employees who have an intimate understanding of the day-to-day operations.
Recognizing the value of both perspectives, bridging the gap between these two distinct operational realities becomes crucial. By understanding the normal work carried out by employees, leaders can gain valuable insights that inform strategic decision-making, fostering a stronger connection between the operational lived-reality of those who do the work and the strategic vantage point of those who lead.
Leaders and employees possess different vantage points that shape their understanding of the organization. Employees are at the forefront of operations, engaging in the core tasks, interacting with customers, and troubleshooting issues on a daily basis. They have firsthand knowledge of the intricacies, challenges, and potential areas for improvement within their roles.
This operational lived-reality provides a wealth of information that is often untapped and underutilized.
Leaders, on the other hand, occupy positions that provide them with a broader view of the organization. They are responsible for setting direction, making strategic decisions, and allocating resources. Their focus lies in aligning the organization's objectives with its overall vision and mission. However, this strategic vantage point sometimes leads to a disconnect from the ground-level realities faced by employees.
The Power of Bridging the Gap
Bridging the gap between leaders and employees is a transformative endeavor. By actively seeking to understand and learn more about how work normally occurs, leaders can tap into a powerful set of operational information. This connection enables leaders to make more informed decisions, refine strategies, and allocate resources more effectively.
When leaders demonstrate a genuine interest in understanding the daily experiences of their employees, it fosters a sense of empowerment and engagement. Employees feel valued and recognized for their expertise, leading to increased morale and motivation. This, in turn, enhances productivity and innovation within the organization
Accessing the operational lived-reality of employees allows leaders to make more informed decisions. The insights gained from employees' experiences provide critical context and identify potential bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or emerging opportunities. Leaders can align their strategic objectives with the operational realities on the ground, resulting in more effective and successful outcomes.
Bridging the gap between leaders and employees also promotes a culture of collaboration. When leaders actively seek input from employees, seek to "do things with them" (rather than "to them"), it fosters a sense of ownership and shared responsibility. Employees become even more invested in the organization's success, contributing their expertise and ideas to shape its direction.
The successful functioning of any organization relies on bridging the gap between leaders and employees. Recognizing the unique sets of operational information they possess and actively seeking to connect these perspectives creates a powerful synergy. By learning deeply about how work normally occurs, leaders can tap into their valuable insights, align strategies with ground realities, and foster a collaborative culture. Embracing this connection paves the way for enhanced decision-making, employee engagement, cocreation of improvement strategies, and ultimately, the achievement of organizational goals.
One powerful way to bridge this gap is through the use of Learning Teams.
A learning team is an operational learning method that involves and empowers those nearest to the work – allowing us to better understand how work actually happens, how things actually get done – to understand the lived operationally reality of those working within our organizations and cocreate improvement strategies with those nearest to the work.
Learning teams can be used anywhere and any situation where you desire deep and meaningful learning – whether it be after an operational upset, a quality escape, or to simply learn more about normal work.
It's not that leaders and employees have better or worse information; it's that they have two unique sets of information. When you connect the two? That's what we call "the magic sauce." Sam Goodman - Owner and HOP Consultant, The HOP Nerd LLC
I work with clients throughout industry - providing services to organizations operating in manufacturing, healthcare, construction, oil & gas, mining, power generation, utilities, and more - focusing on operationalizing HOP and creating sustainability along the way.
What people are saying...
"Sam Goodman is a compressed gas cylinder that falls off the back of a moving truck when the cap pops off and launches. Passion, intensity, purpose, and expertise!"
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So, if you are looking for a trusted advisor to help you bring HOP to life within your organization, need help with learning teams, have a challenge you need a hand with, or are looking for someone to help you take your organizations efforts around learning and improving to the next level…
Some areas I commonly help with:
- HOP Fundamentals
- Learning Team Facilitation
- Learning Team Facilitator Coaching
- Speaking & Workshops
- Site Engagements
- Pre/Post-Event Learning Reviews
- Learning Explorations & Pulsing
- Ongoing Support and Advisement
- & More!
Let's get started!
Owner & HOP Consultant
The HOP Nerd, LLC
More about Sam:
At the helm of The HOP Nerd LLC is its founder and chief consultant, Sam Goodman. With two decades of experience in the field of safety, risk management, and performance improvement, Sam is a leading expert in Human & Organizational Performance (HOP) methodologies. He holds a deep passion for empowering organizations to create safe and high-performing work environments. Sam Goodman's journey into the world of HOP began when he recognized the limitations of traditional safety and performance management approaches. Determined to effect real change, he immersed himself in studying and applying HOP principles. Sam's unique combination of technical expertise, practical experience, and dedication to continuous learning has positioned him as a trusted advisor to numerous organizations across various industries. Sam works with clients throughout industry - providing services to organizations operating in manufacturing, healthcare, construction, oil & gas, mining, power generation, utilities, and more - focusing on operationalizing HOP and creating sustainability along the way. In addition to his consulting work, Sam is a prolific author, sharing his knowledge and insights through various publications. His latest book, the best-selling "10 Ideas to Make Safety Suck Less," has become a vital resource for professionals in the HOP field. Additionally, his best-selling Starting Points: Operationally Curious Questions™ - a collection of operationally curious “icebreakers” designed to act as starting points for deep and meaningful operational learning conversations - has become a crucial resource for leaders around the globe.
About The HOP Nerd LLC:
The HOP Nerd LLC is a forward-thinking consulting firm specializing in Human and Organizational Performance. With extensive experience in the field, Sam has worked with a diverse range of industries, including commercial nuclear generation, utilities, construction, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, transportation, and more. He has collaborated with numerous organizations to operationalize and embed HOP principles and techniques. The HOP Nerd LLC offers a wide range of services, including Human & Organizational Performance Consulting, Learning Teams, education, assessments, learning reviews and analysis, leadership development, and performance improvement strategies. By leveraging learning methodologies and innovative approaches, The HOP Nerd LLC helps organizations enhance safety, reliability, and overall performance. In today's fast-paced and highly competitive business landscape, organizations are increasingly realizing the importance of Human and Organizational Performance to achieve high levels of success. One company at the forefront of this movement is The HOP Nerd LLC, a groundbreaking consulting firm founded and led by Sam Goodman. With a deep understanding of Human & Organizational Performance (HOP), The HOP Nerd LLC is transforming how businesses approach safety, productivity, culture, and more. The HOP Nerd LLC: A Commitment to Excellence: The HOP Nerd LLC, headquartered in Litchfield Park, Arizona, is an innovative consulting firm specializing in operationalizing HOP principles. The company's core mission is to help organizations build resilience, enhance safety, and improve overall performance through a holistic and human-centric approach. By addressing the underlying factors that shape employee behaviors and organizational culture, The HOP Nerd LLC enables businesses to achieve sustainable success. Learn more about Sam Goodman and The HOP Nerd LLC at www.thehopnerd.com