Ask the Board: “What is your process for tackling new challenges?”

Michelle Redfield

Michelle Redfield

This is a great question. Interestingly, and surprisingly, my job often puts me in the position of managing new and unique programs, projects or initiatives. Despite the fact that I have more than 25 years of experience in the EHS & S world, things come up all the time that are new to me as Director of Environment and Safety. As I reflect on this question as to how I typically tackle these new challenges, there is a general methodology that I follow, that loosely reflects a combination of the scientific method and Deming’s continuous improvement model.

First for me is planning. To establish the plan, I gather information, reflect, form an initial plan, obtain feedback and revise. Almost always, a team is involved, so the second step is to form and charter the team. I then establish working guidelines for the team, along with roles and responsibilities, and a regular communication cadence for monitoring progress and identifying changes to the plan. Most importantly, I try to apply the observational approach which enables changes to the plan based on new information, observations and results obtained throughout the program or project.

About Michelle Redfield

Michelle Redfield is the Director of Safety, Environment and Process Improvement with Schneider Electric, and a member of the NAEM Board of Directors.

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