A Masters Degree in ‘Tick and Flick’
I was brought into an organization recently that has an induction process that defies all logic and research into learning and education. I find it astounding that people with no qualifications or experience in education and learning try to design inductions. Moreso, we often give this task to safety people who also have no expertise in education and learning and what ends up is an irrelevant data dump of bureaucratic non-sense masquerading as safety.
The induction presentation I was shown was comprised of hundreds of pages of powerpoint full of text and diagrams. I was asked to help them reframe and redesign this induction. The trouble is, the moment I suggested getting rid of any slides about regulation, process and legislation they defended its place in the induction. I said: ‘You do know that no one can remember any of this stuff don’t you?’ I quoted all the work by Herbert Simon on Bounded Rationality and other research in education and learning that deemed their induction a total waste of time. Indeed, I suggested the induction did more to harm fundamental messages in risk and learning than it could ever possibly be helpful. The safety manager replied: ‘Rob, we all know this is a ‘tick and flick’ exercise but it must be done, it’s required by the regulation’. I asked him to repeat the sentence but just add two words on the end. He said ‘what do you mean?’ I said just repeat that sentence and add the words ‘Your Honour’. Now it sounds like this: ‘It’s just a ‘tick and flick’ exercise, Your Honour’. ‘How does that sound’ I said.
Ted turned to me and suggested I was being stupid. I suggested he watch a few videos in the Risky Conversations series (https://www.humandymensions.com/product/risky-conversations/) for a reality check:
He said: ‘But our bosses insist all this crap goes in the induction’ and I suggested Greg Smith and I meet their bosses and also give them a reality check. He didn’t want that. In the end despite all the winging and complaining about paperwork most safety people don’t know how to give it up, are ‘anchored’ to safety non-sense and so don’t really want change.
I spoke to him about the recent Multiplex case where the safety officer was being charged with reckless conduct. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-19/manslaughter-charges-crane-driver-university-canberra-hospital/9675188
I said to him: ‘admitting that you know all this stuff is a ‘tick and flick’ exercise is not just reckless conduct but also demonstrates a lack of due diligence’. I said: ‘encouraging ‘tick and flick’ is reckless conduct’. He said: ‘Rob, I’ve got a Masters Degree in ‘tick and flick’.