Thursday, 13 November 2014

Don't sweat the small stuffs

Life is full of challenges as well as rewards and satisfaction.

Facing the challenges will consume us - physically and mentally. Sometimes we thought that the consumption would be proportionate to the challenges - however I began to realise that sometimes smaller challenges consumes you equally as hard as the bigger ones. Sometimes more. And at a cost. 

Focusing on the small stuffs at home - my kids mess in their rooms, not doing their chores of washing dishes or throwing the rubbish etc coupled with on/off reactions from my only son and eldest of three children - put a wedge in my relationship with him. The more he ignored me, the harder I pushed him and it got to nearly a breaking point.

Fortunately for me, I have my wife, my minder, my advisor, my conscience and most importantly my rock for me to lean on and at the same time my pillow to soften my fall. She pulled me aside. I was sweating on the small stuffs at the cost of my relationship with my son, who is 13 now. The house felt like a morgue. Everyone were crying, my son, my daughters and my wife. And I. I cried.

I began to make changes in my approach. At the beginning, I ignored the mess, uncompleted chores etc for a few days until I am able to point out things that I need done without being angry or emotional about it. I sat down with my son and my 2 girls, apologising and promising to make changes, and at the same time I pointed out my expectations from them, especially my son being the eldest. I also begin to help him to ease his loads. And also began to join him in the game room - play games on PS3, and losing.

Soon after, the emotional bank account grew for both of us. The mess is still there - much less now but I gained a healthier relationship with my son, and this didn't go unnoticed by the sisters. And things are slowly improving with them too. Laughters began to fill the house again.

That was a real life lesson for me. Thanks to my rock, my darling wife.

Alhamdulillah. May Allah continue to shower blessings to my family. Azmi

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Life, as we know it.


You don't do anything, you just happened to be at the right place at the right time. You'll be looked up like a hero, saviour. You try to correct them, they'll say you're humble.

You do so many things, bent your back to do something, yet the outcome is not as one would expect. You'd be seen as a failure, no hope. You try to defend yourself, it'll fall on deaf ears.

La hawla wala quwata illah billah Hil Ilyl Azeem :لاحول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلي العظيم

There is no strength nor power except Allah


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Be the difference

Bismillaa Hirrahmaa Nirraheem.

A few weeks ago, I was given a challenge to make my weekly safety report interesting. The report is a two pager PDF file, and for the past 22 months I've used a standard cover email of "Please see attached the HSSE Weekly Report for Week XX".

I have not changed the format of the report itself, as it is still useful and informative. The only difference I made was the cover email, to make it more interesting to read.

I love football. So does most of Bruneians and majority of our company's workforce, local and expat alike. So this is a common theme. There had been ongoing banter between fans of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City, and these teams made headlines at the back pages for their big wins or unusual results.

For my first cover email, I sent out the following:

To : All BSP Staff

From : BSP HSE via e-Bulletin

Dear Colleagues,Welcome to the 46th week edition of our HSSE Weekly Report.

Before you go and click the link to view the report, lets reflect to the greatest comeback in English football. And then we see the parallel with our journey.

Greatest comeback

Manchester United is the 20 times English league champions, and the current Premier League champions. Their amazing comeback – as a journey, was in 1996 during the 1995/96 season.

By the new year’s day 1996, Manchester United was 12 points behind league leaders Newcastle United, who was bookies favourite to win the Premier League championship during that season. Nearly half of Manchester United’s first team were young, inexperienced but talented players and they were written off at the beginning of the season with a famous comment "You'll never win anything with kids" (no prizes for guessing which club the commentator came from!).

The parallels

Huge, huge challenge currently in BSP on Safety, just like what United were facing after the New Years day 1996. We have Alex Fergusons in every Assets and Operations; we have Steve Bruce, Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs in our front line and we have the Nevilles, Butt, Beckham and Solskjaer coming to the organisation – young and talented. All we need to reinforce is the strong belief that the dedication and hard work we put in will pay off eventually, towards achieving our Way of Being - Green Day: Creating an incident and injury free workplace.

This little change have made a difference, people are now beginning to read the reports. Soon I hope they will take the messages and share with everyone else, that safety is important, for them, for their families, for the community, and for the country.

Till my next post which I hope will not be too long from this, let's hope this new spark will create a continuous flame.




Thursday, 26 July 2012

Bow-Tie. No, we're not going to dinner.

Salaam friends.

I'd like to share what we had learnt at work last week - part of our Learning From Incidents monthly series.  But instead of focusing on a particular incident, this month we looked back to basics - How do we prevent incidents from happening, and if they do happen, how do we prevent them from getting worst.

We were introduced to a tool called Bow-Tie. Not to put on our tuxedo though :-)   Normally Bow-Tie is used by companies involved with high risks activities to manage their Major Accident Hazards (MAH), where occurrence could likely result in multiple fatalities, significant assets loss, serious environmental issues and really affect your company's reputation.

Basic Bow Tie Diagram
The blue box is the incident we are trying to avoid from happening - the red box on the left is the threat that could cause the incident to happen and the green box on the left is the barrier that we need to beef up to ensure the incident doesn't occur.  But if it does occur, we need to prevent it from getting worst (red box on the right), so we have to make sure the green box on the right is effective.

Bow-Tie Diagram - in simpler terms
Same thing, but in much simpler terms to help any layman like you and me.
Example of Prevention (Left Side)
We used the example of road accident as the thing that can go wrong. What could cause it to go wrong, well one of it could be road conditions.  The barriers can be endless but we picked up three main ones.  For example we have to ensure the tires are in great condition, we follow the speed limit and we are trained to drive safely. If we have 'holes' in these barriers e.g. tires are bald, we speed and are not competent, the likelihood of an accident is high or... inevitable.

Example of Recovery (right hand side)
OK... the incident actually happened, but it could get worst.  In this example, Na'uzubillah (I seek protection from Allah), it could result in death.  How we can avoid it from getting worst is to make sure the barriers actually work: airbags, seat belts and cars with good great crumple zones

The presenter, a scouser with great sense of humor offered an example where the top event is "achieving just average year end appraisal".  Now, working backwards, what can we do to make sure it won't happen? Deliver more than target, be visible, more structured in our work? But when it does happen, average appraisal = lower salary increment / lower bonus and the worst that could happen is the iPad or the iPhone that we've dreamed of purchasing hedged against the potential bonus, may remain a dream. How do we prepare for that? Plan B perhaps?... that Nokia still looks useful and it's only a tenth the price of an iPhone.....

You can use whatever top event you'd like, and it can help prepare you for the worst OR better still, avoid them from happening by strengthening your barriers. Practice makes perfect. I am still working on it myself.

I hope this is of help.  And Mike S, I hope your google search for bowtie will lead you here :-)