Dilbert: Safety Over Productivity?



Yesterday's Dilbert cartoon included an exchange between Wally and the Pointy Haired Boss.

Safety is more important than productivity, right?

Um… sort of.

It's OK to laugh about this in the context of Dilbert-land, especially in Wally's attempts to avoid work (I have a stand up desk at home and I think I get more done as a result… and it's healthier, they say).

But, are our leaders and our organizations, in the real world, sending a message that productivity is more important than employee safety or patient safety? Do you see examples of this, as an explicit message or something that's just implied by what leaders talk about, what is focused on, etc.?


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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

  1. Robert Hafey says

    Safety all over the world is driven by compliance to regulations. Leaders like the Pointy Haired Boss hire safety professionals to manage compliance and usually go no further. My goal is change how the world thinks by focusing people on continuous improvement safety. Safety is just another business process to which lean thinking and lean tools apply.

  2. Craig says

    Safety is very important, and laughter is the best medicine indeed. Safety should be every companies number one priority, because once you have safety in the workplace and everything is running the way it should be you then get more productivity out of all your workers.

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