This book has stories about work as a mining engineer in a number of companies in Australia and Canada. Work in Canberra and the experience with safety models developed by Geoff McDonald are also covered. Working as an operator, mine planning engineer, supervisor, superintendent, manager and general manager helped gain invaluable knowledge. Most of my leaders in 26 years with mining companies were capable and decent people. Mining and mineral processing tend to be dominated by people with a technical background. The capability in the management of people and money was not always as strong. The organisation development work done in Comalco and Conzinc Riotinto of Australia (CRA) in the 1980s and 1990s was profound, resulting in dramatic improvements to the work cultures on many operating sites.
My 16 years as an organisation consultant gave time to observe and reflect on a wide variety of work cultures. Intelligent application of quality models in the safety, people, technical and financial aspects of a business can lead to major improvements for both employees and the business. Coherent, integrated models help enormously with understanding, analysis, design, and predictability in the management of change. The connections between the people, technical, and financial aspects were much closer than generally appreciated. This book is intended to share my work experience and thoughts so people in leadership roles or aspiring to be a leader can improve.
The input from many colleagues was significant and much appreciated. A fundamental question for any leader should be ‘How do you create a work culture where people are willing to give their best – in the people, technical, and financial aspects of the organisation?’