Sustainability, health and safety require positive innovation rather than negative controls

Global summit advised to adopt new leadership’s emphasis upon helping and supporting important work-groups to excel at key tasks.

Many specialists spend far too much time on ‘tick box compliance’ – ticking boxes on standard corporate check-lists that can inhibit innovation and the development of better alternatives according to Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas. His investigations reveal that: “Supportive check-lists that share more cost-effective ways of undertaking key tasks can be much more valuable. Support tools with built-in checks can enable people to try new possibilities.”

He continues: “A social networking element can enable the members of a scattered community to discuss the best way of responding to new challenges and opportunities. For example, during the afternoon it might be possible to roll out globally advice on how to cope with a security threat that was identified earlier in the day. Defences can be mobilised at remote sights long before a threat reaches them.”

Health, safety and sustainability are key issues in the energy sector and liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry. Speaking to a global summit in Barcelona, the author of Winning Companies; Winning People explained that: “Performance support tools that make people aware of the implications and consequences of different options can enable them to select those that are safer, healthier and more sustainable.”

The Professor believes that: “Regulatory approaches and controls that are perceived as harmful to national competitiveness are likely to be less enthusiastically followed and observed than developments which are differentiators and a source of competitive advantage. Less reliance should be put on negative controls and more emphasis given to positive innovation.”

In LNG and other areas of the energy and utilities sector a variety of key tasks are performed by highly qualified professional and technical experts such as specialist engineers. In many cases individuals with sought after experience and skills are difficult to recruit. Certain global players have current vacancies running into hundreds and thousands.

Coulson-Thomas points out: “Appropriate performance support can capture and share the approaches adopted by the more experienced engineers. This can speed up the induction of new staff, raise the performance of others and enable less experienced staff to handle more difficult issues. Overall, performance support can be the most affordable, least disruptive and quickest route to a high performance organisation and simultaneously achieving multiple objectives.”

The Professor is an advocate of ‘new leadership’ which switches the emphasis from directing and motivating people to helping and supporting them: “However motivated people are they may fail if they are not provided with the tools to do what is expected of them. Effective transformational leaders identify important work-groups contributing to priority objectives and ensure they are equipped to excel at key tasks.”

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas the author of Winning Companies; Winning People was speaking on Transformational Leadership at the 10th Annual Global LNG Tech Summit which was held at the Hesperia Tower Hotel in Barcelona. He shared key findings from investigations from his recent reports Talent Management 2, Transforming Public Services and Transforming Knowledge Management which can be obtained from


06 Oct 2015
Colin Coulson-Thomas