Safety Career Highlight

Safety Career Highlight


The experience I had yesterday was a very special moment in my career and life and I’m still buzzing. I had the incredible honour of speaking at the launch of the new book Following-Leading in Risk by Dr Robert Long and Craig Ashhurst. The lead up to the event was a little nerve-racking for me, given the huge audience of safety thinkers that Rob has assembled. But, thanks to reading an article the night before by Rob Sams: Reflection Makes Sense, I realised that never before had I been given an opportunity to speak to an audience who all appreciated risk, improvisation, conversation and fallibility! I rejected the sunk cost of preparing my speech and just winged it! I spoke for the first time publicly of my venture into the world of safety consulting, the challenges, the cognitive dissonance, the mentors, the disdain for traditional safety, my ultimate demise and then my resurrection through starting this blog and my transformation through learning from Dr Rob and the other Followers-Leaders of this new safety paradigm. Rightly or wrongly my journey has closely followed the classic path of the Mythical Hero’s Journey shown diagrammatically on page 10 of the book! (download section 1 here free). I honestly have very little recollection of exactly what I said and I am sure I may have said some regrettable things? But it felt awesome!

I also got to finally meet, face to face, some of the awesome authors on this blogs (to clarify Max – you are all awesome but I only met some of you). Gabrielle Carlton, Rob Sams, Max Geyer and James Ellis were all there and I had the most incredible, passionate, intelligent and positive conversations with them, as one would expect given the way they write.

The absolute icing on the cake was the number of people who came up to me and told me how they had been following (and some brave ones even commenting on) this blog for years and enjoyed its transformation from a bulletin board for traditional safety stuff to a source of inspiration, information and learning about social psychology of risk and other new safety paradigms. They told me how they couldn’t wait to read the new posts and share them with peers. Many told me that they had first discovered the work of Dr Long here and through reading his articles and books they eventually enrolled in his Post Grad Studies. The people I met who are now on this journey speak about safety and risk in a way that I have never encountered before, I don’t have the words to articulate properly how it feels to be amongst them but it is refreshing and exhilarating Smile

I have quite a few copies of Following-Leading In Risk to give away – all you have to do is leave a short comment below and tell me about how and when you discovered this blog, what you have learned from our awesome authors and perhaps how you have applied it in your life. (just go HERE if you would prefer to just buy a copy)

Some great pics from the book launch – courtesy of Rob Long:

The assembled crowd about to start


Opening by Brad Markham Convenor of the Post Grad Program


Alan Seymour from Kynetic presents


Dave presents


Professor Mike Gaffney launches the book


Rob and Craig Respond


Thumbs Up for Dave


Partners in subversion


3 of the best potato heads I know


Max and Sylvie Geyer, Dave Holland and Graham Long in conversation


Errol, Celia and Gab


Scott, Tim and Lisa all from Tier 1 construction companies in conversation


Craig with Pip (our wonderful editor)


The view from the launch


Do you have any thoughts? Please share them below