Our approach


PROPEL´s data and insight show that there are large differences between companies when it comes to collaboration. Collaboration is strongly correlated with the risk of accidents and business interruptions. PROPEL´s experience, garnered from a large number of projects, has been used to develop an approach that is proven to work. Our approach can reduce major accident risk by up to 75%

The main purpose of PROPEL is divided into two areas: to prevent the occurrence of major ship accidents, such as groundings and fires with catastrophic losses, and to prevent business interruptions that lead to delays, downtime, off-hire and cancellations.

These two areas represent somewhat different approaches:

To prevent major accidents, we help our clients in developing a collaborative culture to manage threats and failures before they escalate.

To prevent business interruptions due to technical breakdowns, injuries or insufficient planning, we help our clients by strengthening the improvement loops and the sense of ownership staff feel for the results of their jobs.

Results we have documented are:

75% reduction in likelihood of major accident
75% reduction in actual frequency of business interruptions

Our approach delivers several additional benefits:

75% reduction in injury frequency (lost time injuries)
50% improvement of efficiency in use of spares and service suppliers
20% reduction in non-value adding tasks and bureaucracy on board and ashore
15% improvement in our client´s customer satisfaction (rating and net promoter score)
25% improvement in staff engagement and job satisfaction
35% improvement in retention rate of key personnel on board and ashore
Improved leadership skills and change management capabilities

The bottom line is that staff feel they have more meaningful jobs and are empowered to handle tasks. Because seafarers spend much of their lives on board, this has a positive overall impact on their quality of, and satisfaction with, life at sea.

Creating a collaborative culture prevents disasters

With the right behaviours in place, the collective capability to manage threats and failures improves drastically. Our data and experience illustrates that a few specific behaviours are key to improving safety culture. The following behaviours enable collaboration:

Learn from others and share knowledge
Speak up to colleagues about failures and concerns
Give feedback to colleagues
Be open for other peoples’ points of views
Manage dilemmas between short and long term goals
Promote teamwork
Build trust
Show care

How to implement collaborative behaviours

The difficulty with these behaviours is not understanding them, but using them in work situations. The reason for this is the combination of our industry’s biased focus on “Do it right in the first place” combined with the biased focus on individuals all the way from education, recruitment, promotion, personal development, salary, and incentives and sanctions in a professional job.

This means that the staff already have most of the competence they need to participate in developing a collaborative culture, but they need the necessary tools, expectations and support in adopting the behaviours in professional work situations.

How to achieve successful and lasting change

Changing culture requires a structured process to prepare the management, the organization and not least the coordination of activities. To ensure efficient change, PROPEL’s approach utilizes the following phases:

Diagnose to assess if the safety level is acceptable, what the problem is, what the priorities are and what the suggested solutions are. Diagnosis conclusions include the business rationale and key focus areas for cultural change. It also includes recommendations related to the following processes:

Performance and risk management
People development (leadership, training and strategic HR)
Governance (safety management systems)
Asset management (repair and maintenance)

Programme design, based on diagnosis findings and ambitions for change, to ensure sufficient tailoring of solutions and that all managers work towards the same goals.

Change starts with engaging people before aligning business processes and systems. Typically, a pilot involving one to two ships is included to gain experience and develop success stories. After minor adjustments, the programme is rolled-out through key leaders on board and ashore to the whole organization. This is done through several “waves” to ensure that everybody is reached.

Sustain is necessary to ensure lasting effects. In this phase, many of the implementation tools are integrated in the business processes of the company.Through implementation tools and follow-up, continued engagement and improvements are ensured.

We believe

We believe in simplifying management systems, not adding procedures.

In order to give room for more thinking, more common sense, a feeling of ownership and more engagement we need to reduce control and empower the people who actually do the work.

We believe in focusing on what is critical, not trying to control every detail.

In order to ensure that everybody is focused on the most critical tasks of their job, there is a need to systematically implement risk assessment that is integrated throughout the organization.

We believe that leaders must invite and motivate change and collaboration, not demand it.

Using the chain of command and authority is effective and needed, especially during critical operations. But not using authority can be the best way of implementing collaborative behaviours when things are not urgent. Cultural development occurs 2- 3 times faster this way.

We believe in training collectively, not just training individuals.

People already have most of the required competence and information available to prevent threats and failures from escalating. We need to enable collaboration as a team.

We believe in practicing at the workplace, not training in the classroom.

Practicing on the job is an effective way to learn and is our preferred means of implementing collaborative behaviours. We need to offer solutions that engage everyone on board, in situations that are relevant to their role and their work situations.

We believe in teaching people to handle mistakes, not just teaching them what is right.

It’s human nature to make mistakes. Therefore, we need to practice and develop critical thinking to handle these situations.

But acutally we do not belive

- We know

Our approach is based on our unique data-base informed by the views of more than 30,000 people.

Want to know more? Contact us post@propel.no