[Blog] The Path to Nuclear Excellence

If you ask any senior Nuclear supplier about their journey from being the new kid on the nuclear block to being a trusted and respected organization in the nuclear supply chain – you will likely be met first with rolling eyes followed by a big sigh and maybe, an “Oh Boy”.

This journey intimidates even the most professional and mature organizations. Admittedly, most of us who have spent any considerable amount of time in the industry can name a handful of organizations which were once big players, respected by all, who have, well, just gone away. The thing that killed those once greats is that same thing that scares away so many contenders – confidence.  As we all know, confidence can be hard to muster, or, perhaps worse still, come in abundance and it can never be faked.

In today’s market, our nuclear customers expect that we, as loyal suppliers, will make every effort to think and behave the way they do in the station. Now, nobody expects that we will do everything the same; however, they expect we will follow the principles and teaching and business practices which will put us on the right path, the path to Nuclear Excellence.

It may come as a surprise to some, that Nuclear Excellence is not a destination, it is a goal, an ideology, a way of thinking that in time will control the way your organization thinks, plans, works, communicates, meets, reacts, responds, rests and even the way we park our cars and climb a ladder at home.

First, we must learn the “nuclear way”. Then we must embrace it, proceduralize it, train it, foster it, review it, refine it, revise it and audit it in order to prove it. Once successful, we must live it, breathe it, demand it, expect it and when opportunity presents itself – show it off!

The path you follow on your journey to Nuclear Excellence is built with the bricks you have laid down: each brick is an accomplishment you have made, an error caught, a procedure revised, a suggestion for improvement from the shop floor. Each of the bricks you lay down is where you get that confidence, and if you lay down enough bricks – it will come in abundance, and you’re going to need that.

Nuclear Excellence is all about the journey, where we learn, where we fall down and where we have the courage to get back up and carry on. Learning to be the best you can be, understanding and embracing that you will never be perfect, that you can always be better and you always have an ear for advice will keep you on the path.

So don’t be discouraged, none of us have ever achieved Nuclear Excellence, we are all just like the “nuclear new kid”, we are all on our way, one step at a time, just in different places on the path.

My message to the new guy, ask for help, my message to the veteran, give that help then give some more, that is part of the journey too.

 

Bruce Conning, 

Senior Application Associate at Promation Nuclear