The Latest News from Dolphyn–July 2016

The Latest News from Dolphyn – July 2016

Our First Book – Social Sensemaking

Over the past 12 months, Robert Sams along with many of Dolphyn’s ‘Community of Practice‘, have been working on Rob’s first book. The book is called Social Sensemaking ; a reflective journal, how we make sense of risk.
The book, written by Rob, and includes a number of different contributors, is a reflection of the learning ‘adventure’ and discovery of The Social Psychology of Risk that has been the last four years. The book is written in the format of a reflective journal and shares the many insights and reflections of how people make decisions and judgments about risk.
We are also very excited, and honoured, to announce that one Chapter, focusing on ‘Putting Social Sensemaking into Practice’, has been written by a special international contributor. To learn who this contributor is, stay in touch with our newsletter where more will be revealed closer to the launch date.
Speaking of launches, the book is due to go to print at the end of July and a range of launches will be held around the country and in New Zealand from August 2016.
If you’d like to register your interest in ordering a copy of the book, send a note to and we will put you on the mailing list to let you know when, where and how the book can be purchased.


Speaking of books…. Have you heard about Risk Conversations?

The Latest Book by Dr Robert Long, lawyer Greg Smith and communication and education expert, Craig Ashhurst

The latest in a series of books by Dr Robert Long is out, and what a read it is!
Risky Conversations, The Law, Social Psychology and Risk is the result of three days of conversations between Rob, Greg and Craig held in February 2016. The project produced not only the book, but additionally 22 videos an a ‘talking book’.
Rob, Greg and Craig gathered together along with Rick Long from InVision Pictures and recorded conversations on twenty two topics in risk and safety. The recorded conversations were then transcribed by Max and Sylvia Geyer and then the three authors wrote commentary into the margins of the book. So,  this has really been an interactive project and exemplifies the essence of what it means to engage in Risky Conversations.
You can order the book HERE

A New Program – Due Diligence

The Launch of our New Program was in New Zealand

In May 2016, Dolphyn launched our revised Due Diligence Program during sessions for AMP in New Zealand. We conducted separate programs for the organisation’s Boards, those people identified as ‘Officers’, along with the Health and Safety Committee.
Dolphyn’s program differs from most others in that it does not focus on the mechanistic and legalistic aspects of Due Diligence, but a more humanistic and social psychological perspective. For example, one of the key questions we ask is; “what does it mean to be diligent parent?”. The answers to date have not been “by putting in place a systematic and compliance driven approach, with no tolerance“. You may guess from this point where the program takes people.
Attendees of the program are left with the skills and knowledge to answer questions such as:

  • How may we know that a supportive workplace culture is in place and cultivated?
  • What factors may be impacting on how our people make decisions about risks in their work? What organisational (ways that we organise) factors may impact on these?
  • What impact may social arrangements be having on how people go about making decisions and judgments about risk?
  • How do we know that the organisation’s management system is fit for purpose and is working (without having to audit it)?
  • What is the discourse (trajectory) of the language spoken about for health and safety across the organisation? Why does this matter?
  • Where does power sit in the organisation and what impact does this have on how people go about making decisions and judgements about risk?
  • What do we do to support people to become more discerning about the risks they are faced with in doing their work?

If you’d like to learn more about Dolphyn’s Due Diligence program or would like to arrange for it to be conducted in your organisation, drop us a line at


Upcoming Presentations

Social Sensemaking + Injury Management

Dolphyn’s Rob Sams has a number of presentations coming up over the next few months.
The first is in late July where Rob has been invited to talk at the Managing Ill Employees, Absenteeism and Return-to-Work Masterclass being hosted by Swab Attorneys in Sydney. Rob will be presenting ideas on how you can go about ‘organising’ differently, to provide a more humanistic approach when dealing with the workers compensation system.
The second is at the Roads and Maritime Servces (RMS) State Conference for Road Services in Newcastle in August. During this session, Rob will be presenting an overview of his first book Social Sensemaking in the context of understanding how the act of Social Sensemaking can assist organisations to become better innovators while at the same time be better able to deal with the unexpected when it occurs.
To learn more about these presentations or to talk about any of Dolphyn’s ‘Community of Practice’ presenting at your event or organisation, drop us a note at

Our Most Popular Blogs Over the Past Few Months

The Power in Silence

Effective communication, conversation and consultation are vital in our support of others to learn about, and discern risk. So vital in fact, that if I were asked; “what is the one of the most helpful things that we could do to better support others in dealing with risk? I would certainly include conversations high up on the list.

The Power in Helping
I wonder if one of the greatest privileges and opportunities we have as human being is to be either the recipient , or giver of, ‘help’?


Amping it up in Safety

The SARF model accepts the important role that our social arrangements have in our decision-making. This is why an understanding of social psychology is critical in our understanding of risk.

Why we Need to Understand Pain and Suffering
A close friend has recently started as a mentor in a program that supports women who have been victim to domestic violence. My friend has shared some of the details of their training and a little about the role of the Counsellor which is in part, to accept other people’s pain and suffering, not try to eradicate it. Listening and being present are the key things my friend told me.


Please Don’t Try to Fix Me, I’m not a Machine
My good friend Brian is a ‘Tinkerer’, a very good one. If there’s work to be done on a machine, Brian is your ‘go to man’. He can analyse, adjust, maintain or fix most things mechanical. For example, I recently bought a second hand lawn mower that wasn’t quite running right. After a few hours, Brian had that machine humming like a new one.
I appreciate having Brian around to help me fix machines when they break down, but I would never want, nor expect, Brian to try to ‘fix’ me at times when I’m not quite running right. Why?


The Village Effect
There are many different approaches adopted by organisations to support people who are injured at work. These include consultant doctors, on-site Physiotherapy, free and confidential psychologists (EAP), ‘case conferencing’ and specialised rehabilitation providers. All of which can be useful and helpful.

For some people though recovery is delayed or prolonged, and some may experience ‘secondary illnesses’ such as anxiety and depression. The challenges of recovering from injury can be overwhelming. So what can we do when these traditional approaches don’t seem to be working and signs of anxiety or depression start to show?
How might we in risk and safety, go about creating ‘The Village Effect’ in our organisations?


SEEK – A Different Way to Understand

Numbers are building quickly for the SEEK Program in Melbourne. The program is run by the team at Human Dymensions, and provides some good insight, learning and practice into the model of understanding developed by Dr Rob Long.
You can find out more about the SEEK Workshop here:
You can download a flyer here:
The image and iconography in the graphic below is the cover of the 120 page manual that participants receive  along with a compendium, a copy of the Greg, Craig and Rob’s latest book, a range of practical tools to assist skill development in event investigation along with access to all the vidoes associated with the new book
The Program will be delivered by our good friends; Dr Rob Long, Gabrielle Carlton, Craig Ashhurst and Andrew Thornhill.

Staying in Touch

Thanks for reading our Newsletter, we love staying in touch. We also love feedback so why not drop us a line at  and let us know what you think. We also understand that you may not want to stay in touch, that’s easy, just click on ‘unsubscribe’ below and you’ll be taken off the list.
Thanks for being part of our Community.

Rob Sams
Rob Sams
Rob is an experienced safety and people professional, having worked in a broad range of industries and work environments, including manufacturing, professional services (building and facilities maintenance), healthcare, transport, automotive, sales and marketing. He is a passionate leader who enjoys supporting people and organizations through periods of change. Rob specializes in making the challenges of risk and safety more understandable in the workplace. He uses his substantial skills and formal training in leadership, social psychology of risk and coaching to help organizations understand how to better manage people, risk and performance. Rob builds relationships and "scaffolds" people development and change so that organizations can achieve the meaningful goals they set for themselves. While Rob has specialist knowledge in systems, his passion is in making systems useable for people and organizations. In many ways, Rob is a translator; he interprets the complex language of processes, regulations and legislation into meaningful and practical tasks. Rob uses his knowledge of social psychology to help people and organizations filter the many pressures they are made anxious about by regulators and various media. He is able to bring the many complexities of systems demands down to earth to a relevant and practical level.

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