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Growing HOP: A brief guide to getting started with Human & Organizational Performance


Sam Goodman Human & Organizational Performance (HOP) and Learning Teams Expert

Sam Goodman is the founder and independent Human and Organizational Performance practitioner of The HOP Nerd LLC. He is an experienced safety and HOP practitioner, accomplished author, passionate speaker, and respected consultant and coach with numerous years of experience in operationalizing HOP internal to organizations and as a consultant.


So, you have decided to do things ‘differently’ in your organization.  You have discovered Human & Organizational Performance, and you are ready to bring about meaningful change – what now?


I remember this moment vividly from my own HOP journey... 


To set the stage a bit, I was a few years into working for a high-performing and reputable power company in a senior safety position.  Prior to this, I had spent around 10 years working in some very large, very traditional, power maintenance and construction organizations providing services to nuclear and fossil power plants.


I began my true personal journey with Human & Organizational Performance while working for those very large and very traditional power maintenance and construction organizations – discovering many books and learning more, and beginning to (slowly) tweak and change things (as much as I could get away with) over time towards more human, humane, and HOP focused approaches. 


As I transitioned to working for this high-performing and reputable power company, I discovered a workforce hungry for change.  I found a company that had historically led with sticks and carrots, was full of blame and punishment, and employees fearful of sharing the truth.  I stumbled into a work world that sought improvement through blame, shame, and retrain.  Really, I discovered an amazing company, full of amazing people, that had gotten mired down in trying to blame and punish their way to operational excellence somewhere along the way. 


Things had to change. 


Conversations shape the work world around you


Long before we labeled our efforts Human & Organizational Performance, they began as conversations.  Really, closed door secret conversations in which likeminded folks from throughout the organization would gather and discuss better assumptions, beliefs, ideas, and approaches.


These conversations were initially “secret” because many of the ideas we’d discuss were considered blasphemous by many of those in positions of power and authority in the organization.  Discussions around ideas such as “all incidents not being preventable,” the insanity of “goal zero,” the problems with blame and shame, and on, and on – all ideas that would certainly get us labeled as “uncaring,” as “not taking safety seriously,” and more than likely demoted or fired.     


We would share ideas, book recommendations, vent about recent happenings in the company, and talk change. We didn't realize it in the moment, but we were setting the stage for transformational change.

These conversations grew and grew over time.  These ideas grew and spread throughout the organization over time.  We were doing things a bit backwards as compared to more normal change efforts – bringing about these changes with very little high-level or corporate-level leadership interest or support, but using its success to gain leadership interest and support.  We’ll chat more a bit later about “doing things backwards.” 


Pretty soon our “secret conversations” included mangers, directors, and even a few vice presidents – all having thought similar thoughts for years. Finding themselves amongst people that would not label them as “uncaring” or “not taking things seriously enough” just because they hoped to bring about meaningful and positive change to the business, they now found their voice, a group of allies, and the courage to begin to make change happen.   


And we did just that - over the course of some years, we grew these little secret meetings into a highly successful change effort.


But back to our question of “what now?”  At the time of our original journey, readily available HOP resources were pretty scarce. Heck, we didn't even know it was called "HOP," or "Safety Differently," or "Safety-II" - a blessing in my mind now seeing how mired down and upset we get about the labels we place on our efforts of trying to do things a bit better (but that's a rant for another day so I will leave you with this article by a brilliant friend of mine, Clive Lloyd).  Other than a few books and some obscure (at the time) websites or papers, there wasn’t much out there.  There definitely wasn’t much along the lines of HOP planning, “how to,” deployment stories or guides, etc.  I’m glad to say that has changed dramatically over the years - this short guide now becoming part of a large and ever growing body of knowledge around doing things a bit differently.


This short guide has been built on not only my initial experiences and learnings from working internal to an organization to bring Human & Organizational Performance to life, but the numerous companies I have worked with since then as a coach and consultant.


I hope this brief guide helps you begin or go farther on your journey.  I hope it fills in some of the gaps we had to make guesses on, that it helps you avoid some of the places we got it wrong, and I hope it helps to answer a bit of that “what now?!” question.


Before we dive in, I also feel the need to mention that I’m not so sold on the idea that there is “one right way” to bring HOP to life.  In fact, I feel strongly in the opposite direction.  I think that there are numerous – if not infinite – right ways to get things done.  So keep that in mind as you read on.  


This is a guide – a playbook, really.  If a particular play is not working, tweak it, change it, or call an audible or a different play.  Stay flexible, keep adapting, but stick with the HOP principles.  When things get challenging, lean into those principles that much harder. When things start to move backwards, lean into them even harder. When you find yourself confused or unsure of what to do in a particular situation, allow these principles, concepts, and ideas to guide you – they will not steer you wrong.


What is Human & Organizational Performance?


Let's start by defining Human & Organizational Performance.


Personally, I think of HOP as a collection of better beliefs, assumptions, thoughts, and ideas – from diverse and varying sources –  applied through the lens of a core set of principles.      

To me, at the core of it all, Human and Organizational Performance is a fundamental shift in how we view people. It is the move away from viewing people as problems to be managed, and the shift towards viewing people as problem solvers.


While there are several other vital bits and pieces, Human and Organizational Performance is about starting from a place of trust, embracing the human element of our work worlds, understanding that people show up to work to do a good job, and constantly and deliberately learning from those that do the actual work.


Our traditional approaches often start from a position of distrusting our fellow humans; we have viewed people as the source of problems and pain within our organizations. People have been viewed as the last great problem to fix, as the last step between us and organizational utopia.


We have viewed people as the problem to fix, and we seek to fix problems. We have built systems of distrust, constructed endless lists of rules, ones that are policed via mechanisms of constant surveillance, oversight, and harsh punishment for "wrongdoers." We have tried and tried to comply and punish our way to operational excellence, but it has failed us time and time again.


This distrust of our fellow humans has been a harmful negative that has inflicted unnecessary pain and suffering upon those that diligently serve our organizations. This distrust of our fellow humans, and this desire to punish those “untrustworthy” and “uncaring” humans that we believe to be causal of our problems has led us away from improvement - away from learning - not closer to it. It has left our workforces fearful and untrusting, devoid of the ability to be honest with the organization, and unable to tell “real deal” stories about how work normally occurs, and it has left our organizations blind to vital information and learnings.


The Principles of Human & Organizational Performance (HOP)

Error is Normal

Blame Fixes Nothing

Context Drives Behaviors

Learning Is Vital

How We Respond Matters


Here's a short video on the 5 HOP Principles


The principles and concepts of Human and Organizational Performance move us away from these misguided and harmful beliefs. Rather than viewing people as the problem - and attempting to cure our work worlds of events and problems by seeking to cure people of their humanity - HOP teaches us to embrace our fellow humans, to defer to their expertise, to learn from them, to seek to understand, and to understand that their “know-how” and knowledge is vital to the success of our organizations. Human and Organizational Performance teaches us that error is normal, that no one chooses to make a mistake, that blame fixes nothings, and that blaming only moves us away from the so needed learnings we require to improve.


Allow me to circle back to the key point, Human and Organizational Performance is a fundamental shift in how we view people – people are problem solvers, and we must create systems of trust so that they can do just that.


Here's a video chatting a bit more about "What is HOP?"


"HOP is too soft..."


One of the first jabs at Human and Organizational Performance that many leaders take, especially those more comfortable with very vertical "command and control" styles of management, is that it is “too fluffy,” “too squishy,” or “too soft,” but nothing could be further from the truth. As a close friend, one who is a high-level leader in the utility space once shared with me, “Human and Organizational Performance lets me hear the raw and the real – that is what I need to make better decisions as a leader.”


“Human and Organizational Performance lets me hear the raw and the real – that is what I need to make better decisions as a leader.”

Human and Organizational Performance is not about the squishy bits, it’s not about being fluffy or soft, HOP is about getting down to the nitty gritty and digging into “raw and real” conversations and learnings. Its about tapping into this story of operational reality -  this story about how work usually goes well, and how it occasionally goes wrong - rather than living in operational fantasy. There is nothing squishy or soft about an employee sharing with you their near-death experiences.


There is nothing fluffy about hearing the story of a worker who amputated their finger but was forced to choose between reporting the event and getting medical attention or seeking medical care on their own so that they could keep their job. The learnings and conversations that Human and Organizational Performance will bring about within your organization will be the rawest and realest conversations you have ever experienced.


Embrace the Journey


While deep and fundamental organizational change efforts can be quite the daunting task, do not be fearful of taking up the challenge of making things better. Yes, these efforts take time and sometimes move painfully slow. Yes, of course, the organization will sometimes regress or fall back to their ‘old ways.’ Yes, you will encounter leaders that are just not onboard or actively seek to derail these efforts. But these are all just points along the way – steppingstones of organizational betterment – leading you towards a better workplace. Remember, this is a journey…


As with any journey, you will hit bumps, jumps, and roadblocks along the way.

As with any journey, you will hit bumps, jumps, and roadblocks along the way. Embrace the process – accept the process. I myself struggled with some of these challenges in my first experiences with bringing HOP to life – I particularly struggled with the “moving backwards” from time-to-time piece. When you find yourself feeling frustrated, zoom out. Take a step back and take in where the organization has been, where it is at, and where it is going – the amount of positive change you will see will often surprise you and ease your frustrations.


Because your organization is unique, your journey will also be extremely unique – it should be. Take these ideas, these concepts, and thoughts on bringing Human and Organizational Performance to life and create a bespoke approach to effectively bring about positive change within your work world.


Do not approach these concepts with a traditional mindset

So very often I see companies attempting to ‘force fit’ Human and Organizational Performance into their organizations, attempting to meticulously plan every step of this journey onto a strategic timeline of ‘HOP implementation,’ or trying to ‘do HOP’ using the same organizational methods and tactics they have used for much of everything else – using an approach akin to the rolling out of a ‘safety program.' But Human and Organizational Performance is not a program, and approaching it like one only creates headaches and problems along the way – it only stifles progress or leaves you with some bastardized end product far from the true intent of these concepts and ideas.


HOP is an operating philosophy....

These concepts and ideas are different, so we must approach them differently. Be very cautious of typical organizational desires to simplify, standardize, and force fit to create progress and change – these methods always backfire. Human and Organizational Performance is a set of beliefs that shape our programs, tools, behaviors, and language (Baker, 2019) – is it not a program to ‘roll out.’ We simply cannot shift beliefs through the application of a program, we cannot just “roll out” new assumptions into our organizations, we cannot bring about this change by trying to force fit it in. You must grow Human and Organizational Performance within your organization by reshaping organizational assumptions and beliefs around error, blame, learning, the definition of safety, and on…


Grow Human and Organizational Performance within your organization by reshaping organizational assumptions and beliefs over time...

Human and Organizational Performance is not a program, but you should have a plan. You need a blueprint; you need a recipe for the cake. You need to bring the right ingredients together at the right times – you don’t want to be going for a moist and delicious chocolate cake and end up with a tart – no one wants a tart. You need to have the right people working on the right things at the right times. You need to figure out what your little "HOP army" looks like, how that works, where your ’bright spots’ are, where you are going, and how you think you’re going to get there.


Do not get completely tied down by planning – this plan should never be rigid. It will move, shift and shuffle – just as it should. Things will get pushed out and other things will get pulled in – but you need a road map to get you in the general vicinity.


Planning considerations prior to beginning the journey
Human and Organizational Performance (HOP) planning considerations


Organizational Readiness


Where is your organization currently at? Seek to understand the current state of your particular organization and define where it is that you want to go. This assessment of organizational readiness will allow you craft a customized approach based off the current reality of your organization. It will help you begin your journey at the right time and allow it to start on a sure footing.


A brief side story

In our initial efforts mentioned prior, we did this by having deliberate conversations with people throughout the organization.  After we developed our group of HOP advocates or “bright spots,” we armed them with some better questions, a way to capture the input they received, and we sent them off to sit down face-to-face with roughly 15% of the organization.  This was mostly frontline folks facilitating these conversations with everything from other frontline employees, to managers, all the way to the board, and everything in between. 


Where did we get 15%?  We picked it out of thin air – it was a best guess.  We knew that we needed to capture a wide perspective.  We also knew that it would be illogical to set our goal at 100% for an organization that employed roughly 7000 full time employees across multiple states.  Once we captured a good chunk of information, we were able to tell a reasonably accurate story of current lived operational reality within the organization. 


An interesting note here – many high-level leaders had no idea how brutal things were down through the organization.  As one stated “all looked well from above.”  This effort was a massive lift, but it provided us with tons of operational information, starting points for deeper learning, and opened many eyes to the need for change up through the organization.      


Another interesting note – We focused on telling this story – and telling it extremely well – in all directions throughout the organization.  So, this initial learning effort also resulted in a greater understanding of the executive perspective down through the organization along with the frontline perspective up through the organization.  The executives no longer viewed the frontline as the problem to manage, as uncaring, or as “always trying to get something over on the company.” The frontline no longer viewed the executives as villains sitting in their offices sipping scotch, smoking cigars, and plotting ways to make their lives miserable.


This initial wave of operational learning – of seeking to understand where things were currently at – helped to bridge many misunderstandings by developing industrial empathy throughout the organization. It was just the start of a massive effort, but it got things off on the right foot.        


Core Team Creation


Who are your internal champions – those knowledgeable and passionate folks – that will help bring this change about? Often I find that these are "HOP folks" that just don't know that they are "HOP folks." What I mean by that is, take a hard look at that list of principles and think of those people in your organization that are - whether they realize it or not - already living or leading by them. I bet a few faces came to mind. That's the first few names of your HOP champions. Find these people, get them together, and set them up for success by providing them adequate time, resources, and support to take on this task.


A brief side story

This is usually not just a bunch of leaders – this should be a mix of frontline people, support folks, some leaders, and on, and on.  A good diverse mix from throughout the organization seems to work well here.  Again, from that initial effort we’ve been chatting about, we had a little bit of everything.  What made it work well?  It wasn’t their title; it was their passion.  Everyone on this little team wanted to be there, they wanted to make things better, they were “ride or die,” they were courageous, and that made them unstoppable.   


I’ve seen this work well in many, many organizations I have worked with over the years.  One in particular that comes to mind – a large multi-national food manufacturer – has formed these “HOP teams” comprised of people from varying positions, trades, and levels of organizational authority.  Not only did they form these groups, not only are they voluntary, not only do they empower them and support them, but they deliberately carve out time and space in their day-to-day work lives to give them the ability to do the work. 


They have been highly successful with these groupings of “bright spots,” even using them as their first wave of change agents during a recent acquisition of another factory.  Rather than sending in the “top brass” to tell the new addition how to fall in line, they recognized that they needed to learn – that the new factory could teach them many valuable lessons.  So, they sent in this “HOP team” to learn more, to seek to understand, to build relationships, and to plant the seeds of HOP from their very first meetings.  This approach was well received all around, resulted in a wealth of learning, and a smooth transition.           


Employee Involvement


How are you going to place your workforce at the center of this change – how are you going to ensure that they have a voice? That their voice is heard? Be very cautious to not “do HOP” to your organization. You can help avoid this by involving your workforce in these change efforts. Involve your employees, listen to them, learn from them, and be sure that their voices – their ideas and their thoughts – shine through and are shown in the results of these efforts.


A brief side story

Back to the initial story of doing things a bit differently in that high-performing and reputable power company.  We tried to “prove it” early on in our journey. 


People had heard this song, they had seen this dance, and they had been watching it for years.  You can’t fault them for requiring a little proof.  We aggressively pursued “quick wins,” we involved and empowered those nearest to the work – learning more and creating improvements with them – through the use of Learning Teams, and we made damn sure that if something impacted them or their crews that they had a seat at the table. 


Really, we stopped doing crap to them, we stopped doing stuff for them, and we started doing things with them.  I talk in-depth about this need to shift from “Doing to” towards “Doing with” in 10 Ideas to Make Safety Suck less if you are interested in exploring it more deeply. 

    


It is more of a flexible ‘framework’ than a rigid plan…

Growing Human & Organizational Performance (HOP) Timeline


In a 2019 article on the Safety Differently website, Andrea Baker describes “5 Phases” of Human and Organizational Performance integration:


  • Leadership Interest

  • Building HOP fluency

  • Operational Learning

  • Alignment

  • Safeguard Management


Let explore each of these in a little more depth…


Leadership Interest


Seek to gain leadership support within your organization and find leadership champions or sponsors to leverage while on this journey. These Human and Organizational Performance allies are crucial to the overall growth and success of these concepts within your company.


During a recent episode of The HOP Nerd Podcast I was joined by Stephen Scott. During this episode he shared this idea that "for every hour you spend talking about HOP with the frontline, you should probably spend about 4 hours talking about HOP with leaders." This was about the best way I have heard this put. While, of course, this isn't a rule, the point remains the same. You should invest the majority of your efforts into gaining leadership interest and building HOP fluency with leaders throughout the organization. Why? Because HOP isn't a program to roll out and manage - it's not something you "do down to" the frontline - It's an operating philosophy.


What this looks like…

  • Building relationships with leaders

  • Mentoring leaders – especially through challenges

  • Teaching of HOP concepts to leadership

  • Making a case for change

  • Possibly bringing in outside resources to help shift views


Building HOP fluency


This is the education component of your journey – the embedding of these concepts and ideas within your organization. Through the teaching of things like Human and Organizational Performance fundamentals, learning teams, and more, you will establish a base-level of knowledge around this new approach. Over time you will begin to notice subtle changes in the language of your organization – your organization will begin to sound like a HOP focused company – your company will begin to “speak HOP.”


What this looks like…

  • Providing HOP information sessions

  • Conducting HOP fundamental training

  • Teaching the use of learning teams and learning explorations

  • Shifting organizational messaging towards Human and Organizational Performance


Operational Learning


At this point in your journey, you are beginning to really embrace tools like learning teams and learning explorations – the organization is shifting towards a deliberate and passionate focus on learning, especially from those that do the work. Do not just seek this learning after an event or operational surprise, go out and ‘learn on purpose’ about everyday normal. If you are looking for a place to start, here is a recent article about discovering starting points for pre-event operational learning.


What this looks like…

  • Starting to use learning teams and learning explorations more and more

  • More and more focus on the gaining of context rich information – the old answers (things like “someone messed up”) are no longer palatable

  • Beginning to see more independent use of learning teams throughout the organization – people will bring you learning teams they did on their own

  • Increasing curiosity about normal work


Alignment


At a certain point of maturity in your Human and Organizational Performance journey, it will be time to begin to embed HOP principles and operational learning mechanisms into your existing systems, processes, and programs. Sometimes this also calls for a healthy dose of decluttering – the getting rid of things that counter to these principles or simply not useful or no longer needed – to move things forward by the parting of ways with things that can not be brought into alignment.


What this looks like…

  • Altering of processes and programs to bring them into alignment with HOP principles

  • The embedding of HOP principles and learning mechanisms into processes and programs

  • Decluttering of rules, processes, and programs

  • The elimination of rules, processes, and programs that cannot be brought into alignment with HOP principles

  • Creating a HOP framework to ensure that HOP is sustainable


Safeguard Management


Now, with these concepts and ideas firmly embedded within the organization, and by using this operational intelligence gained through operational learning mechanisms (such as learning teams or learning explorations) the organization seeks to continuously and collaboratively design, better, and manage safeguards and lifesaving controls.


What this looks like…

  • Bettering of existing controls and safeguards

  • Bettering of system designs

  • Ongoing operational learning around areas of critical risk

  • Periodic testing of safeguards and controls


You will find these planning considerations and ‘5 Phases’ to be crucial when plotting out your organizations journey towards Human and Organizational Performance (HOP). Put plenty of thought into these areas as you begin to think about bringing the concepts to life within your workplace, but do not get overly consumed with - or tied to - rigid planning.


There is not “one right way” to bring these fundamental changes about – there is not a true guidebook to making these changes happen. Plot a course and start moving in the right direction, keep your plan flexible and understand that it will change a lot along the way.


Doing things backwards

I have seen Human and Organizational Performance brought about “backwards” on several occasions – brought to life within organizations with very little high-level or corporate-level leadership interest, but using its success to gain leadership interest.


In these cases, Human and Organizational Performance is applied more at a local or group level. These ‘bright spots’ then act as a catalyst for HOP growth throughout the organization. When the benefits of doing things differently begin to surface, those up through the organization will typically be quick to take notice. This is demonstrating success by doing – doing things differently at a local level, and then pushing those success stories up through the company. Good results are hard to deny, and they quickly lead to more and more excitement and support.


These more localized efforts usually start as somewhat ‘grassroots” endeavors – coming to life through the growing of HOP fluency, the letting go of blame, the changing of reactions, the embracing of learning – in a particular subculture of the organization.


While this seems counter to accepted guidance around organizational change efforts – and it is in many ways – I have seen this work well. Especially in organizations with high-level leaders that are just not quite ready to take the jump, or with upper-level leadership teams that simply do not see the need for change. These ‘backward’ approaches can definitely be useful if your organization finds itself wanting change, but without a clear commitment from up within the leadership chain.


Leverage the already mentioned “5 Phases” of Human and Organizational Performance integration (Baker, 2019) while seeking out this more localized approach as well – just apply them in a local fashion. As an example, rather than seeking out executive commitment, this “leadership interest” might look more like support from a local manager, supervisor, or team leader.


An easy place to start

If it’s all just a bit too much for your organization to take on all at once, I often recommend starting

Human & Organizational Performance | Learning Teams | Sam Goodman

out by conducting a few learning teams or learning explorations. Pick an area that could use a little improvement, a particular pain point or problem, or simply choose a job or task that you would like to learn more about and give it a shot. Go out and use these operational learning mechanisms to render your workplace a little better, and to tell the story of normal work – of reality – up through your organization.


The use of the approaches to gaining operational intelligence are low risk and high reward – they are the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the viability and usefulness of doing things a bit differently.


Temper your expectations

The indicators of “big progress” within your organization will often be found in the little things.

I personally struggled (initially) with the overall slowness of change along with the occurrences of leaders stepping back into our more traditional mindsets as I started leading these types of change efforts. It is very easy to find yourself frustrated and disappointed if you do not take time to temper your expectations as you begin on this journey. It is also vital to understand that the indicators of “big progress” within your organization will often be found in the little things.


One of the best places I have found to listen for progress is by listening to the stories of workers within your organization. When you hear stories of things getting better, of things making more sense, of better experiences, those little things are huge indicators of success. Just the fact that people are sharing their raw and real stories of ‘normal work’ tells you that things are moving in the right direction. When you are feeling worn out and tired, go spend some time listening to the stories contained within your organization.


Stick to the principles

No matter where your organization finds itself with it Human and Organizational Performance

Principles of Human & Organizational Performance | Sam Goodman

 journey, always keep the 5 Principles of Human and Organizational performance at the heart of your efforts – lean into them, lean into the concepts of Safety Differently, and lean into the 10 ideas.


When things get challenging, lean into them much harder. When things start to move backwards, lean into them even harder. When you find yourself confused or unsure of what to do in a particular situation, allow these principles, concepts, and ideas to guide you through them – they will not steer you wrong.


Your company is unique…

Your company is very unique, so your journey will also be very unique. Embrace this uniqueness, it’s what make your company great! Your uniqueness should shine through in your plan, and in how you approach bringing the concepts and ideas to life within your work world. Take these ideas and– while sticking to the principles – creatively apply them within your organization. Take these ideas and form fit them to make things work effectively for your company. While leaning heavily into the principles and all of the ideas we have discussed, and while listening and learning from your workforces, shape your organizations very own unique path towards better. Do this and amazing things are likely to follow.


This journey is worth it

This journey is long and slow, but it is worth it.

I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of being involved in various companies’ journeys towards the application of these concepts and ideas, and I am here to tell you that zero percent of them have regretted it.


I have led these changes while working internal to organizations (that were historically very traditionally based) and had the opportunity to see and feel these changes for myself. This journey is long and slow, but it is worth it.


To see and feel the results of Human and Organizational Performance coming to life within your organization is breathtaking – witnessing the changes quite literally gives you goosebumps.


I have heard stories like that of a 30-year veteran of an organization describing how, after an event, they were embraced by the company instead of being blamed and fired. I have listened to a new employee compare a HOP focused organization to their last, highlighting the positive difference in their working experience. I have heard story after story – too many to share here – each describing how this fundamental shift has directly and positively impacted working lives.


These stories are not just ‘tall tales,’ they are powerful indicators of a move in a better direction. They are a demonstration of bettering the working lives – the lived experiences – of those that reside within our organizations.


What are the stories that currently make up your work world? If you could tap into them right now, what would you hear? Would you hear stories of learning and betterment, or would you hear stories of blame, shame, pain, and employee suffering? Your employees have stories – stories your organization is helping to shape – Are you listening? Are you helping to make them better or worse?


These ideas and concepts of Human & Organizational Performance will help you revolutionize your approaches to the safety of work (and practically everything else), and they will aid you in bringing about transformational change to your work worlds – through their use you will craft better stories. By bringing these concepts to life, you are deliberately building a better work world and creating a much more positive lived experience for your employees.


The journey is worth it because the people within your organization – those that work tirelessly to get shit done and to get shit done well – they are worth it. Your people, those workers that have been entrusted to your care, they are worth it.


Lastly, let me leave you with this podcast about not seeking perfection while undertaking this HOP journey. I hope it brings you a bit of encouragement to get started.


Don't be afraid to start doing things a bit differently. Try your best to get it right, but understand you're going to get it wrong. We all get it wrong. That's ok! Getting it wrong is how we learn to get it right.



Sam Goodman

(480) 521-5893


Human & Organizational Performance Coach

Sam Goodman is the founder and independent Human and Organizational Performance practitioner of The HOP Nerd LLC. He is the author of multiple books focused on Human & Organizational Performance, the safety of work, and the safety profession, and the host and producer of The HOP Nerd Podcast. Sam is an experienced safety and HOP practitioner, accomplished author, passionate speaker, and respected consultant and coach.


 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.


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.


Sam offers the flexibility, passion, and know-how to help your organization begin, or go further on its HOP journey.     


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