WARNING: Not Your Typical Safety Nonsense

Europe – International Workshop Social Psychology of Risk Introduction Linz Austria 17/18 January 2017

imageFor all those in the Northern Hemisphere who have been looking for this, we are holding a 2 day workshop on the Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) introduction in Linz Austria on 11,12 January 2017. This is a great opportunity to do this unit and thereby qualify to undertake online studies with Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk (CLLR). You can download a flyer and outline of the workshop here: http://cllr.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Linz-1718-Jan.pdf

How to Register

The two day workshop is being hosted by the Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk (CLLR) and http://www.ubsh.eu/ and Ronald Hanke. You can contact Ronald here: office@ubsh.eu or enquire more about the Workshops here: admin@cllr.com.au

There are four presenters at the workshop: Dr Robert Long, Rob Sams, Gabrielle Carlton (all from Australia) and special guest Presenter Michael Kruger (Austria). All four presenters have founded particular perspectives on the nature of the Social Psychology of Risk and have published widely in their area of expertise.

You can register online for the workshop here: http://cllr.com.au/product/international-workshop-introduction-social-psychology-risk/ and the cost is $1450.00 €.

Study at The Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk (CLLR)

The Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk (CLLR) is proud to launch its opening for studies for 2017. CLLR is the only Centre in the world that accredits studies in the Social Psychology of Risk.

You can find out more about CLLR here: http://cllr.com.au/ and download a Prospectus here: http://cllr.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/CLLR-Prospectus-Final-14.10.2016.pdf

CLLR is a self-accrediting college that offers 4 Unit Certificates, 4 Unit Diplomas and a 4 Unit MasterClass award through face-to-face and online learning. Study in the Social Psychology of Risk enriches knowledge in any area of risk including in: safety, security, enterprise risk, risk management, people management and leadership in risk. The study Calendar for 2017 is listed here: http://cllr.com.au/events/

In 2016 there were 48 Australian students who studied with the Centre and 32 Overseas students from New Zealand, Malaysia, Finland, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Netherlands (The European students are pictured on the CLLR home screen).  See what people say about study in the Social Psychology of Risk here: https://vimeo.com/186359451

The first unit for study in 2017 is:
International Workshop Linz Austria
17/18 January 2017

You can register for the European workshops here: http://cllr.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Linz-1718-Jan.pdf
CLLR has a European office in Linz.

Overseas students who complete a face-to-face unit are then entitled to undertake online studies.

About the CLLR Logo

The logo for CLLR is made up of five magnifying glasses representing a focus on:
Social Psychology of Risk
Learning and,
The Collective Unconscious

The intensity of magnification, coherence and amplification of risk is a captured in the overlapping of the magnifying glass images.

The Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk (CLLR) is managed by an advisory board (see Prospectus) that assures the quality of all programs. The Principal of CLLR is Dr Rob Long and Director of Studies Craig Ashhurst. Chair of the Advisory Group is Rob Sams and Deputy Chair Gabrielle Carlton. Presenters and lecturers are listed here: http://cllr.com.au/about-us/our-team/

Units on offer in 2017 are listed here: http://cllr.com.au/register-to-study/

If you want to know more about CLLR you can make contact here: admin@cllr.com.au

What about Human Dymensions?

Human Dymensions remains of course the principle provider of workplace training in the Social Psychology of Risk. Whilst Human Dymensions remains focused on Work, Leadership, Risk, Culture, Learning and Safety, CLLR will be focused on professional studies in the Social Psychology of Risk and leave the training focus to Human Dymensions. Soon you will see a new look for Human Dymensions and a Social Psychology of Risk website to be launched in 2017. By mid 2017 there will be three websites: The Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk (CLLR), The Social Psychology of Risk (SPoR) and Human Dymensions all working seamlessly to deliver services and education at different levels in the Social Psychology of Risk.

This CLLR newsletter will be released quarterly alternating with the Human Dymensions Newsletter.

The Glossy Legs Phenomenon


You have probably seen this illusion already but the legs pictured below are not legs oiled and are not glossy but are simply created with a few well-placed stripes of white paint. If the nature of illusion, perception, motivation, affects, attribution, heuristics and other distortions of social perception interest you, you might want to do study in the Social Psychology of Risk, the introduction unit is scheduled for Sydney Australia on 8,9,10 February 2017 http://cllr.com.au/product/an-introduction-to-the-social-psychology-of-risk-unit-1/

For more on the legs follow the link below.


Living with Insecurity

An interesting dialogue with Alan Watts


Appreciative Enquiry, An Evaluation of Values

It is values that presuppose evaluations, one can’t evaluate without the disclosure of values. However, often when people undertake an evaluation they don’t disclose their values or don’t know their values. For many not trained in tackling assumptions and the hidden values behind methods, this is a challenge. Methods are not values but are the auctioning of values, we call this methodology. A methodology is the philosophy, ethic and values that drive a method.

I have written on values before (https://safetyrisk.net/we-can-value-safety-but-safety-is-not-a-value/), making the point that the risk and Safety industry are not educated to understand much about values, ethics or methodology. Ethics, values and methodology are not focal part of any curriculum in WHS in Australia (https://safetyrisk.net/isnt-it-time-we-reformed-the-whs-curriculum/). The strange thing about WHS is that study doesn’t start with people, methodology, values or risk but with method. Search the books and courses in WHS and try and find one that doesn’t start with regulation but starts with the nature of methodology.

Regulation is about method. What is missing in WHS study is an understanding of the methodologies embedded in regulation. The assumption from Safety is that regulation is value neutral, which it isn’t. This is why Safety projects that ‘safety is a value’, when it isn’t. Safety is an outcome of values and something we value but it is not a value. We need to understand that there is a big difference between the outcomes of values, the objects we value and ‘values’ (https://safetyrisk.net/we-can-value-safety-but-safety-is-not-a-value/).

One can’t really be effective in e-value-ation without a solid understanding of values and, the beginning of becoming ‘values conscious’ is through a study of moral theory and ethics (https://safetyrisk.net/dont-mention-the-v-word/).

So lets have a look at the recent interest in Appreciative Enquiry (AI) in the safety industry. I first encountered AI in the 1990s when working in Child Protection and community services. Back then, community welfare and social services studies were, dominated by Critical Theory and Postmodernism, both with a focus on deficit analysis and deconstruction in the neo-Marxist tradition.

The originator of AI was David Cooperrider (http://www.davidcooperrider.com/) who emphasizes ‘strength-based’ methods, positive psychology and positivity. AI is also associated with the flourishing movement (http://www.flourishing.com.au/). At the heart of these movements are the values of respect, trust, hope, love, openness, curiosity, innovation and socialpsychological meaning. Cooperrider argues that we need forms of enquiry and change that are generative rather than punitive. The focus of AI is not on individuals but rather on social psychological context. AI is essentially organizational. Unfortunately, some understand AI individualistically particularly in popular hero-leadership discourse.

Since the publication of Cooperrider’s initial paper in 1987 it is said that he held back from publishing a book on AI. The book ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ (with Diana Whitney) was finally published in 1999. In this 12 year gap a range of methods have evolved so there is now a range of methods used for AI. In the book Cooperrider and Whitney list five principles for AI, namely:

  1. The constructionist principle (people construct the organisations they inhabit)
  2. Simultaneity (social systems move in the directions of the questions they ask)
  3. The poetic principle (organizational life is a discourse of poetics and narratives)
  4. The anticipatory principle (our trajectories shape anticipations) and,
  5. The positive principle (the positive focus energized by hope, creativity, trust, listening, openness, relationships, inquiry, learning)

There are also a range of methods that have developed beyond these principles by those attracted to the AI school of thought. It ought to be remembered that the focus of AI has a focus on the social psychological state of the organization. What is even more important is an understanding of the ‘collective unconscious’ of the organization which is not really in the discourse of the AI approach, a better understanding of the collective unconscious helps understand what the organization enculturates as ‘normal’.

Caution: One of the challenges of positive psychology and the appreciative enquiry movement is what is lost in reaction to the poststructuralist and critical theory mindsets. There is a place for the critique of power, individualism, means of production and the discourse in organisations which is part of the critical theory approach, it’s a question of balance.

If you are interested in AI and the collective unconscious then these are covered in Unit 11 as part of the Masterclass series (http://cllr.com.au/product-category/master-classes/). Please contact admin@cllr.com.au for more information.

Risky Conversations Competition

To coincide with the success of the recent SEEK training in Brisbane (Unit 2) we have released another video from the Risky Conversations series, this time a conversation about Diagnosis (https://vimeo.com/166158437).

There are 5 copies of Risky Conversations to give away, in answer to a simple question. Listen to the video and answer this: what does Greg Smith state are one of the most dangerous tools in the risk and safety industry? Email your answer to admin@cllr.com.au  and the first 5 correct entries will receive a book. Remember that gifts generally are all gone within 30 minutes of publishing this newsletter.

There are a number of SEEK workshops proposed for 2017 you can find proposed SEEK sessions here: http://cllr.com.au/events/

Understanding More about Sleep and Fatigue

There is more to sleep than we once thought. Research by Koch (Scientifc American Mind Oct 2016) reveals that the whole brain doesn’t go to sleep when we sleep. It turns out that only one hemisphere of our brain is fully asleep and the other hemisphere is still ‘awake’. Koch calls this ‘one hemisphere on watch’. It was previously thought that a person is either asleep or awake but not both. The hemisphere that is awake is not really fully conscious but rather functions on ‘slow-wave activity’. This same function is accessed in ‘daydreaming’ and ‘mind wandering’. If we consider this seriously it helps explain why our mind can often be partly off task and still be safe in automaticity. This is especially the case with routine and repetitive tasks. So, if you make a mistake (except for Zero harm people who don’t make mistakes) it is often because your awake hemisphere is in a different cycle. You appear conscious but your unconscious is really in control.

New Video Release – Diagnosis and Risk

We have release the sixth video in the 23 video series from the Risky Conversations project and the topic is on ‘Diagnosis’.
If you are interested in the whole video series it can be purchased by buying the book Risky Conversations, The Law, Social Psychology and Risk.  The book is a copy of the full transcripts of the video series with extensive resources and commentary in the margins of the book that adds value to each topic.  You can purchase the book here: http://cart.humandymensions.com/product/risky-conversations/

How We Make Sense of Time and Risk

We don’t very often about the way our view of culture and organizing is ‘constructed’. We tend to think that everyone sees the world as we do and the myth of common sense prevails, particularly in the naïve risk and safety culture. AS a way of highlighting just how our view of culture is ‘constructed’ it is helpful to have a look at how culture understand time. Cooperrider (Kensy) and Nunez (Scientific American Mind December 2016) help in this understanding.

Cooperrider and Nunez have studied the Yupno people in New Guinea (as well as other cultures) and discovered that they don’t understand ‘yesterday’ and tomorrow’ like westerners. The Yupno understand time geographically. We might point forward or backward in our linear framework and in our understanding of time but not the Yupno. The future for the Yupno is not understood as something in front of you but rather something that is uphill. The Yupno understanding of time is not anchored to the body as the West is but to the contours of the world. The Hopi Indians, Hebrew, Mandarin, Aymara (Sth America), Vietnamese, Tamil, Maori, Sesotho (Sth Africa) and Australian Indigenous cultures all have a different sense of time (see graph attached).

Recent research shows that human sense of time largely depends on metaphor (semiotics). We build our understanding of time on special ideas such as size, movement and location. You can see in the illustration how other culture construct their understanding of time.

What do we learn from this when considering risk? Well, the first thing to note is that a sense of the future, risk and uncertainty associated with time is not something all cultures understand the same. It is mostly a western anxiety and the safety industry in particular that wants to be infallible (zero harm) and omniscient (know into the future). Other cultures are much less concerned with the unknown and much less frustrated by the limitations of fallibility. Much of this is associated with the delusion of control and the ideology and mental illness of perfectionism.

Learning and Rejecting the Outcomes of Behaviourism

It has been some time now since the idea of Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) and Cognitve Behaviour Therapy (CBT) have been floating about seducing and entrapping people with promises of ‘fixing’ and mechanistic solutions to the unknown and complexity of human being. It takes a while but after some time people begin to see that there are no ‘fixes’ for fallibility indeed, that fallibility and being human are good, not problems. There is no learning without fallibility and risk. What is more, the binary nature of behaviourism omits so much complexity in what it is to be human. HUmans are much more than just the sum of inputs and outputs.

The recent seduction of behaviourism has also been evident in the schooling sector, in particular with the ClassDojo movement. The ClassDojo movement is a behaviourist approach to class management in schools. Coupled with the nonsense of NAPLAN and the standardization of measurement and non-learning (perhaps read this https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/ken-robinson-government-standardization-blocks-innovative-education-reform/), it will take years for the education system to recover and discover the power of innovation and creativity systemically.

I was recently contacted by a friend who stated that it took her son 9 months to get over the nonsense of ClassDojo, until the child would do something for its own intrinsic value. This piece is worth a read, and also with the culture of safety in mind:

For the love of learning


Some of my favourite sites on learning and education


Join the Social Psychology of Risk Leadership, Learning and Risk Group


Contact: admin@cllr.com.au

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