The power of the suite of Margerison-McCann Team Management Systems Profiles to improve personal, team and organisational performance has been demonstrated over many years in many different contexts around the world. But Lee Weavers has started to use the Opportunity Orientation Profile to help save lives.
In 2014 the new management team at the UK subsidiary of Recticel, a Belgian multinational that manufactures foam, asked Lee Weavers and colleagues Mark East and Tim Woodfield of risk management consultancy Radar Consulting, to carry out a risk assessment.
Recticel makes foam for use in a range of products, including insulation, bedding and cars, and the chemicals involved are highly volatile. As such, Recticel has to comply with the COMAH Regulations, which aim to prevent and mitigate the effect on people and the environment of major accidents involving dangerous substances.
The risk assessment identified a number of existing deficiencies, and, with the help
of the Health & Safety Executive, an action plan to address them was designed. As part of the plan Radar Consulting was asked to create and train a crisis management team that would spring into action should a crisis occur.
Lee explains: “The first thing we did was to select a cross-section of people whom we thought had the key attributes and competencies, from a production and chemical point of view, to be part of such a team. We then used the Team Management Profile to find out about the individuals themselves, their work preferences and how they worked together.”
it gets people to think more consciously about the way they make decisions in a crisis
They then selected people from this group and got them to complete the Opportunity Orientation Profile, which assesses people’s attitude to risk.
“We identified some individuals who were very risk-averse, and others who were likely to ‘fire from the hip’ with only the minimum of information, potentially putting their own and others’ lives at risk,” says Lee. “Fortunately, we were able to identify a few individuals who had the right balance between good technical understanding, analytical skills and decisiveness, who would be able to assess situations before intervening.”
They’ve run a series of short exercises to prepare everyone for the roles they would perform. Lee says he has found the Opportunity Orientation Profile extremely useful in getting people to think more consciously about the way they make decisions in a crisis – and it’s the kind of knowledge he believes will become more necessary in an increasingly insecure world.
He concludes: “We’ve reached the point where competencies traditionally used primarily in the military and emergency services are required in industry too, and we are teaching people new skills that they haven’t previously needed in their line management role.”