About Hearts and Minds

Hearts and Minds is a suite of tools – booklets, videos and other supporting materials – to help improve the safety culture of organisations.  The EI publishes the toolkit, provides access to training on how to use it, and has a network of independent consultants based globally who can help support your organisation’s cultural journey.

The Energy Institute is also responsible for the continued development of the Hearts and Minds toolkit, through reinvesting the proceeds from sale of the toolkit into research and continuous development.

The Energy Institute is a non-profit organisation.  Revenue generated by the sale of the Hearts and Minds toolkit is used to update and extend the toolkit by funding research and development, aimed at helping companies improve their HSE performance.

Origin and purpose

Hearts and Minds originated in Shell, and is based on a £20 million research programme carried out in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s – research that is still going on today.  This state of the art toolkit is available to those outside the Shell Group, thanks to a publishing agreement between the Energy Institute and Shell E&P.

The fundamental concept behind Hearts and Minds is that the implementation of a safety management system is the starting point to improving safety and operational performance, not the end. Through leveraging the people in the organisation, organisations can improve the way tasks are performed, the conditions under which they are performed, and the safety management system itself – thereby improving the ‘culture’ of the organisation (“the way we do things around here”).  Improving the culture can not only improve safety, but also efficiency and wellbeing.

Is this a behavioural safety programme?

No! Behavioural safety programmes focus on changing people’s behaviours to eliminate ‘unsafe acts’. Behavioural safety focuses on the individual, and not the environment the individual is working in.

Hearts and Minds recognises that people come to work to do a good job, not to get injured.  While 80% of incidents are caused by people making mistakes, 70% of those mistakes are due to management system failures.

Therefore, in order to improve safety performance, we must focus not on the person, but on the 'environment' the person is working in – the things leaders are saying, poor procedures, the physical environment, and various other factors.  Collectively, we call this the ‘safety culture’, or “the way we do things around here”.