By Nippin Anand
Embracing DifferencesNov 10, 2023
Cultural sensitivity and risk intelligence
How do you understand culture, cultural sensitivity and risk intelligence? How can being culturally sensitive make us risk intelligent? Nippin Anand and Pedro Ferreira offer some thoughts. And guess where they are – in the cultural capital of Europe i.e. Rijeka, Croatia
The other side of human performance
This podcast is dedicated to people who put on a performance (a show) every day when they come to work. performance means many things, although in the risk and safety world we have become excessively focused on work and the narrative goes something like this that in order for the worker to perform well, she needs the right support from the company. Support in the form of the right processes, right tools, right instructions, right directions and the right rules. And once you do that, not only safety but reliability, quality and efficiency will also improve. Since it is all about performance, the focus still remains on measurements and dashboards, AI and technique.
But there is another kind of performance, the kind of performance that we notice with people who are going through so much in their lives (family issues, marital problems, trauma, identity crisis, discrimination, victimisation, bullying, harassment, sexual abuse and so on) and yet they are expected to put on a show when they turn to work. that’s performance, just like Freddie Mercury making sure the show must go on.
Do we care to understand performance from this perspective? Is it even important given that this has ‘nothing’ to do with work? Steve Shorrock and I had a heartfelt conversation on this topic and we share our thoughts in this podcast.
We hope this podcast will make you think, reflect and approach yourcolleagues and friends with a different perspective about performance.
Technique and Efficiency – Ideologies we live by
Our society has become so obsessed with measurement that even leisure, reading, wellbeing and healthy living have become a topic for efficiency. Many of us live and die without experiencing a life outside of efficiency and measurement. Take for instance the case of the father of scientific management Frederick Taylor. Even on his deathbed, Taylor was seen winding a stopwatch. What a paradox that we won’t let go of measurement even when there is no time left to live?
But things are not that straightforward. How do we explain the countless time sitting on the couch browsing through social media without purpose or meaning? How do we explain investments in weapons of mass destruction? Clearly these are issues that cannot always be understood through the lenses of efficiency. In this podcast, Rob Long and I discuss the meaning of Technique as an ideology (or a worldview) that has come to dominate our lives. The ideology of Technique comes from the work of the French philosopher Jacques Ellul but was also discussed in the work of Heidegger and other philosophers.
We hope this podcast will make you think, reflect and live a more fulfilling life.
What really is safety
Greg Smith and I recently did a podcast where I asked Greg about how far the industry has onboarded his wisdom about paper safety. The discussion ended in a very interesting place where we both felt the need to articulate a very basic question – what is safety?
It sounds like a simple question but there are so many dimensions to the idea of safety that we never come to a shared understanding and so I’m afraid we don’t have an answer but we do have some questions for you to reflect upon.
What is semiotics?
What is semiotics?
The world is a semiosphere meaning the visual world around us have a symbolic and mythical meaning. In Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR), we often say that when it comes to making meaning of the outside world, ‘everything is significant’ or ‘nothing never happens.’ To a semiotically sensitive person i.e., to someone who becomes aware of the limits of their senses, there is so much wisdom in coming to terms with our ignorance. Being semiotically aware makes us culturally sensitive and risk intelligent.
I hope you will enjoy listening and watching this podcast as much as Dr Rob Long and I enjoyed creating it for you.
Are you working safely or are you just being paper safe?
For decades, western societies have become increasingly committed to demonstrating in the most tangible way possible (i.e. through procedures) that risks are mitigated to all possible extent. Quantification and documentation have gradually come to dominate every aspect of risk, and disconnection with the reality of work has lead many to question the purpose of what we have created around work and safety. Greg Smith in his book “Paper Safe” has brilliantly unpacked this issue and the assumptions that sit in the back of it. Nippin met Greg while in Australia for a conversation that sheds light on how paperwork has so often become a blanket that rather than keeping us safe and warm, is blocking our view over the things that help us understand and tackle risk.
Exploring the uniqueness of Social Psychology of Risk
In this podcast, Rob Long and Nippin Anand discuss the uniqueness (not superiority) of Social Psychology of Risk. How SPoR methodology, methods and tools can help us become good listeners and become deliberate about our culture and culture change.
Culture: An evolutionary view? An 8 part series with Dr Robert Long on culture and learning (8/8)
Another car cast where Dr Rob Long, Dr Nippin Anand and Dr Pedro Ferreira explore briefly the evolutionary perspective about culture. Much of what we hear about culture and more specifically safety culture, is grounded in social science. Here is a different view on (safety)culture. Not better or worse, simply some alternative views and complimentary thoughts
What it means to be an educated person - An eight-part series with Dr Robert Long on culture and learning (7/8)
Continuing their car casts on the roads in Chennai (India), Dr Rob Long, Dr Pedro Ferreira and Dr Nippin Anand ask a basic question – what does it mean to be an educated person? What is a human person? What is personhood and why personhood matters when it comes to understanding culture?
What is learning? An eight-part series with Dr Robert Long on culture and learning (6/8)
Dr Rob Long, Dr Nippin Anand and Dr Pedro Ferreira are on a car journey on the roads in Chennai, India exploring the topic of learning. So not the usual podcast but a carcast! The discussion begins with a brief introduction to what learning is not. Drawing up examples of driving and the road journey in India we then discuss how human beings learn. We discuss what is embodiment and why embodied learning matters for learning to become effective and sustainable in an organisation.
Safety Culture - An eight-part series with Dr Robert Long on culture and learning (5/8)
In this podcast Dr Nippin Anand and Dr Rob Long explore the meaning of ‘safety culture’. We explore the symbolism, rituals and myths of safety and question the ‘silences’ (i.e., what is not spoken) in the discourse of safety. We discuss religion and taboos and why focusing on taboos is essential to understanding safety culture.
Why transdisciplinary thinking is essential to learning? An eight part series with Dr Robert Long on culture and learning (4/8)
The risk and safety industry predominantly approaches human being as a rational being and decision making as a rational, calculative, brain-centric exercise. In this podcast, Dr Rob Long and Dr Nippin Anand discuss the need for transdisciplinary thinking to understand how we as human beings make decisions. Do you want to learn more about Social Psychology of Risk?
Stop the job - An eight part series with Dr Robert Long on culture and learning (3/8)
In this podcast, Dr Rob Long and Dr Pedro Ferreira discuss the ritual of ‘stop the job’. ‘Stop the job’ is a tool to empower people at work to stop the continuity of an operation if they feel it is not safe to continue any longer. How does the idea of empowering someone and trusting their intuition and decision work in practice?
Why is faith essential to learning? An eight part series with Dr. Robert Long on culture and learning (2/8)
Have you ever wondered what is faith in true sense? Why do we hesitate so much to use the word faith? In this podcast Dr Rob Long and Dr Pedro Ferreira explore what is faith and why faith is essential to learning and living
Why doubt is essential for learning? An eight part series with Dr. Robert Long on culture and learning (1/8)
A podcast on understanding culture, safety culture and how we as human beings learn with DrRob Long.
In this podcast, Dr Rob Long and I explore why doubt is essential to learning? Have you ever paid close attention to how we speak? What is the language of risk and safety? In this podcast, we discuss why the language of doubt and uncertainty is essential to learning.
What do we mean by learning? (Based on a life story)
An Indian couple moves to Norway and within a few months, the Norwegian authorities take custody of their two children. This is a real-life story recently turned into a Bollywood movie and for us an opportunity to understand the power of culture and cultural differences. This podcast (and the YouTube video) is an attempt to map the story using the iCue method along with Dr Rob Long. The central question we ask in this exercise is ‘What does learning mean’?
Transdisciplinary thinking and more with Craig Ashhurst
A podcast with my new friend Craig Ashhurst where we discuss a number of things including wicked problems, why there is no such thing like normal, the importance of transdisciplinary thinking in risk management, why we should take our dreams seriously but most importantly, despite such diverse backgrounds how Craig and I ended up working, living and being something so similar.
Social Psychology of Risk - From theory to practice
This podcast is a discussion with Human Factors expert Suzanne Jackson about the practical application of Social Psychology of Risk. We discuss many real-life examples and we question the implications of the narrative about improving safety, efficiency and reliability in workplaces.
Learning, change and paradigm shift - Reflections on the iCue method
What is learning and what is the relationship between listening and learning? In a podcast with Nick Little, the headteacher of the International School of Aberdeen, we discuss learning and ‘paradigm change using the iCue framework. The iCue method is a framework for extracting intelligent cues(iCue) in a conversation with the view to listen, understand and improve the quality of decisions. After attending one of the iCue sessions, Nick offers his insights about the iCue method and how he believes that this approach can bring about a paradigm shift for learning and change.
What happens when change happens?
What happens when change happens? Where do you look for the most reliable indications of change? How do you know you are moving in the right direction with your change management? Listen to the story of one organisation that has taken the first step in faith and embraced a new way of doing risk and safety.
I hope you enjoy the authenticity of this conversation as much as I enjoyed creating this podcast. And I hope this podcast gives you some thoughts about learning and change.
Rituals in risk management – A real life story
In this podcast, we use the framework of rituals to tell a real life story. The central message of this podcast is to recognize the role of ritual in risk and safety management. The framework of rituals can help us become visually and verbally sensitive and improve our listening and observation skills.
Metaphors we live by
When a teacher sends you a message that your 7 year old boy needs to stop making silly noises in the classroom and become academically focused, how are you supposed to react? Should we as parents become over-concerned about our child’s behaviour, should we disregard this as a disproportionate response from a frustrated teacher or should we slow down, reflect, and question the hidden meaning and power of our words?
In a fast-paced society where everyone is constantly under pressure to their goals, objectives and deadlines, this experience has once again taught me the power to slow down and think about the metaphors we use and what they can tell us about the unconscious bias in our language. It makes you thoughtful about your words, reflective and deliberate about your decisions and tremendously improves your relationships with others.
Thank you @Steven Shorrock for joining me and listening to my story.
Social Psychology of Risk in practice
To be alive is to be learning. Listen to this personal journey of a scaffolder, an electrician, a father, and a family man and find out what it means when people experience the joy of learning and a transformation within. Culture, systems, and process improvement follow and flow from the individual.
Gestures in risk management - Part 2
In our last podcast, we discussed risk management rituals. In this one, we will examine the role of gestures in risk management. By studying body language, linguistics, and the unconscious mind, we can better understand human decision-making and culture.
For more info visit our website; www.novellus.solutions
Rituals in Risk Management - Part 1
In this podcast, Dr Rob Long and I take a deep dive into the significance of rituals, religion and mythology in risk and safety management. One would hope that we are a ‘modern society’ that goes by reason and logic but is that so? Find out more by listening to this podcast.
The essence of organising - relationships or boots?
Imagine two people carrying out lifting operations – one of them is not wearing safety boots. How would you approach them as a leader? Listen to this podcast to understand the essence of an organisation and why relationships matter more than systems and processes at work.
Why teaching is not learning
This is a discussion with Steven Shorrock about the contrast between teaching and learning and why education and teaching are so far away from learning. It all began with the story of a little girl (Steve’s daughter) whose expression ‘I don’t mind’ as a response to being marked down for being late to school did not go well with the teacher. We explore the power of metaphor, language, feelings, power and authority in everyday interactions and why teaching can never be the same as learning.
Leading with vulnerability: A podcast with Selena Armstrong
This is a podcast about leading with vulnerability with the CEO of New Zealand Institute of Safety Management Selena Armstrong.
COVID has impacted everyone’s life and a lot of us have struggled with maintaining a separation between our personal and professional selves. Why then do we expect people to ‘be professional’ and leave their personal problems at home when they come to work? Is that even realistic? Meet one CEO who is not afraid to speak about her vulnerabilities with openness and authenticity. Find out how vulnerability can transform our lives and revitalize our relationships with others in this heartfelt conversation. And most of all, learn about the power of listening and connecting with others.
Applying Social Psychology of Risk in practice: A podcast with Brian Darlington
In this podcast, I speak with Brian Darlington, the author of two books in Social Psychology of Risk and the Group HSE Manager at Mondi Group. We discuss how Brian and his team studied Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) with Dr Robert Long in Australia, applied it to their work and strategically influenced the culture of an entire organisation. Packed with compelling stories, practical examples and methods about how to have conversations that would connect you with people, this podcast will make you think and challenge your worldview about how to do risk and safety.
Is Just Culture desirable for learning? Part 5
This is the fifth part of a six part series to explore the relationship between Just Culture and Learning with a diverse panel of experts. You will hear different perspectives on just culture and learning including legal, operational, academic and safety. Stay tuned for future sessions in this series.
Ethics & Leadership: a short story
How we respond in a situation defines our ethics and worldview. In this podcast you will hear two contrastive stories of leadership styles based on the ethics of care and deontology. There are many more ethical approaches that we will discuss in our future podcasts.
Is Just Culture desirable for learning? Part 4
This is the fourth part of a six part series to explore the relationship between Just Culture and Learning with a diverse panel of experts. You will hear different perspectives on just culture and learning including legal, operational, academic and safety. Stay tuned for future sessions in this series.
Is Just Culture desirable for learning? Part 3
This is the third part of a six part series to explore the relationship between Just Culture and Learning with a diverse panel of experts. You will hear different perspectives on just culture and learning including legal, operational, academic and safety. Stay tuned for future sessions in this series.
Is Just Culture desirable for learning? - Part 2
This is the second part of a six part series to explore the relationship between Just Culture and Learning with a diverse panel of experts. You will hear different perspectives on just culture and learning including legal, operational, academic and safety. Stay tuned for future sessions in this series.
War on expertise: how to prepare and how to win
Expertise has become increasingly advanced and increasingly essential in settings requiring skilled decision-making, particularly under time pressure and uncertainty. And yet expertise has come under greater and greater assault from a variety of communities. In this podcast, the world renowned psychologist, Gary Klein will review these attacks, explain their flaws, and describe tactics for countering the critics and for promoting expertise in organisational settings.
Is Just Culture desirable for learning – Part 1
This is a six part series to explore the relationship between Just Culture and Learning with a diverse panel of experts. You will hear different perspectives on just culture and learning including legal, operational, academic and safety. Stay tuned for future sessions in this series.
Meaning making in accidents (part 1): a true story
In this episode of embracing differences, we will listen to the story of a young seafarer, John William Soria, who suffered life-threatening injuries when he slipped and fell 8 meters deep into a ship’s steel tank and lost consciousness. John came very close to experiencing death in an accident that would change his life forever. Nearly 5 years after this accident, I met with John last week to understand what meaning he makes of this experience. Apart from his insights and reflections, you will discover in this podcast the power of learning by listening.
Breaking down the separation between ethos and ethics in risk and safety
In this podcast, Dr. Rob Long and Nippin Anand discuss how your ethos (worldview-methodology) directs your ethic (moral system) and all methods in risk and safety evidence an underlying worldview (ethos). Such matters are rarely discussed in the safety industry. Indeed, the associations in safety never discuss their own ethic, even when they discuss ethics (eg. AIHS BoK Chapter on Ethics). This lack of transparency is unethical and fosters confusion in an industry that seeks to claim the word ‘professional’.
Upside down and back to front
In this podcast, Donna Cohen and I discuss the enormous yet largely untouched source of power that is the expertise of frontline staff within organisations. We explore the potential of workers knowledge for organisational learning and quality improvement and discuss the practical and environmental challenges of engaging frontline staff and tapping into their expertise and ideas. We also explore solutions that can counter the impact of top-down organisational design and create better relationships between managers and their teams.
Archetypes of Safety Professionals
With Nippin Anand.
This podcast is aimed at presenting archetypes of safety professionals. The idea is to recognise how we present ourselves in different ways and connect with our consciousness. Knowledge of archetypes can be helpful in creating a learning organisation.
Experience versus expertise
In this episode, I am joined by Gary Klein, a psychologist, and an internationally renowned researcher most famous for his work in naturalistic decision making. We discuss how expertise is both understood and undermined and why we should care about developing and nurturing expertise in an uncertain world.
Thinking Beyond Psychological Safety
In high-risk industries, the dominant view about why workers do not speak up to someone higher up in the hierarchy, even when faced with an imminent threat, is the absence of ‘psychological safety'. It follows, therefore, those management initiatives are predominantly focused on creating a safe space for workers to ‘speak up' and share concerns with their co-workers and superiors.
Based on their research and practice, Dr. Nippin Anand, Gitte Damm, and Dr. Ruchi Sinha will present perspectives about the complex nature of “speaking up” and why it may not be as straightforward as it may initially appear. If the aim is to understand and improve team performance, we must be prepared to think beyond and face the challenges underlying the goal of creating psychological safety.
Ethics and Compliance
With Alison Taylor
In this podcast, I explore the emerging relationship between ethics and compliance in an interview with Alison Taylor, the Executive Director at Ethical Systems at New York University (NYU) Stern School of Business. Alison argues that an increased demand for transparency by the consumers and society, the rise of social media, stakeholders’ perceptions and expectations, and the need to maintain a ‘good’ public image means that sustainable businesses will be required to take an ethical approach to governance and compliance.
Stories from over 20 years in patient safety
With Professor Suzette Woodward
Many of us are still unsure about pushing the boundaries of innovation and our own belief about safety. Will any of the changes we make as a result of applying human factors in our work practices really benefit our workers and improve our performance? How would our bosses react, what if something goes wrong, how would the regulators view our initiatives.
Suzette Woodward is a paediatric intensive care nurse who for the last two decades has specialised in patient safety. In this podcast, she talks about her life in safety and her motivations. She raises the importance of rethinking the way we do safety and applying the latest concepts of safety-II, psychological safety and a just culture in healthcare.
Ergonomics and human factors in occupational health and safety in Canada the last 20 years
In this podcast episode, human factors expert and a vivid learner Suzanne Jackson, sets us on a path to learn more about organizational and human factors. Suzanne’s own journey began back in 2010 when she noticed people who had poorly designed workstations but did not want intervention and vice versa. This is a story of her personal education and experiences where she draws from a variety of disciplines including behavioural sciences, psychology, anthropology, qualitative research, political sciences and philosophy. This podcast should interest anyone who is willing to push the boundaries of their worldview and assumptions about what it means to be a safety professional.
With Simon Cassin.
The business world and in particular the health and safety industry are perfect examples of ‘Plato’s, cave allegory’ in action. We think we can see things as they really are, but in truth much of what we believe is simply a shadow of reality. In this podcast, Simon argues that without opening our minds to the benefits of philosophical reasoning and thought, the best we can hope for is a blurred and shadowy perspective of reality. Adopting a philosophical approach can help us both think about existing questions from a different perspective and explore concepts that we were previously unaware of. There are philosophers of science, politics, law, ethics, epistemology etc. So why don’t we work together and create a philosophy of safety? It just makes sense.
Blaming and scapegoating in accidents: Understanding a ship captain’s perspective
There is a very basic need that arises at a human, organizational and societal level every time we are faced with an accident. Whose fault was it? Who screwed up? Who is to blame or who is to take accountability?
Welcome to another episode of embracing differences with me Nippin Anand where we will make an attempt to address this question using a very specific accident case. And it goes back to December 2007 when a crane mounted on a barge ran into the merchant tanker Hebei Spirit while she was at anchor which then led to over 10,500 tons of crude oil being spilt into the Yellow Sea off the coast of South Korea.
The high court said in its verdict that “the captain could have averted a collision by pulling up the anchor or moving backwards at full or half the usual speed.” And the captain of the ship, Jaspreet Chawla, was sentenced to prison for over a month and ended up in South Korea for almost 18 months.
It makes very little sense to blame the captain when the ship is at anchor and hence very limited in her capacity to move and therefore avert a collision. Why then was he sentenced to prison? We blame and scapegoat professionals even when we have reasons to believe that they did everything in their capacity to handle the situation? Why is that so?
To answer this question, I invited Captain Jaspreet Chawla along with a panel of experts in safety sciences and human factors from around the world that includes Johan Bergstrom, Rosa Carillo and Ivan Pupulidy for this hour-long discussion. I hope you will find the discussion insightful and informative.
The dangers of safety bureaucracy
Do you know that documented processes could be undermining your health, safety, and business performance? In this podcast session, Nippin Anand and Greg Smith explore the dangers of bureaucracy in health and safety management, how safety bureaucracy can undermine workplace safety, and what businesses can do about it. While Nippin speaks from an operational and business perspective, Greg brings a legal viewpoint to the discussion.
Incident investigation: What can we learn from the software world?
In this podcast, John Allspaw, the Founder of Adaptive Safety Labs and I talk about the world of software engineering and operations and its connections to safety science and human factors. Together we explore what opportunities — and challenges — exist in the domain, what incident analysis and genuine learning from incidents looks like, and what makes this an exciting time for exploring this domain from a safety perspective.
Women in Occupational Safety and Health: Identifying and Removing Barriers
With Pam Walaski. Despite a decades-long increase in the participation of women in the general workforce, women in the occupational safety and health (OSH) field lags behind. In addition, women in overall leadership roles and in the OSH profession remain stagnant. Further, this lack of diversity extends to other under-represented groups. Many organizations profess to want to change, but barriers remain. This podcast will explore some reasons for the stagnation, how it can be changed and what the future looks like for women and other groups in OSH and OSH leadership?