I am planning to still bring you regular podcasts. But we can’t ignore what’s going on in these coronavirus times. To distinguish these podcasts from the regular ones, I thought I would number them C1, C2, but then I realised, coronavirus is not defining who I am and my response right now. What is defining me, is togetherness. So this is episode is not C1, its T1, T for Togetherness. The first of these hopefully short series of podcasts, focussed on how together we can tackle and adapt through coronavirus times.
Hey, it’s Andrew, and this is Safety on Tap.
Since you’re listening in, and despite the current chaos, you are still a leader wanting to grow yourself and drastically improve health and safety along the way. Welcome to you, you’re in the right place. If this is your first time listening in, thanks for joining us and well done for trying something different to improve! And of course, welcome back to all of you wonderful regular listeners.
I have never felt the pace of the world, and my work, be faster than now. A few thoughts, hopefully coherent, and hopefully helpful for you. We are finding so much opportunity out of adversity. I thought I would tell you a little about how our work is unfolding, and adapting to this situation to better serve you, a leader who, despite the chaos, must grow, and drastically improve health and safety at a time when the world needs us the most.
Here’s the headlines: we are learning, adapting and responding at breakneck speed to your challenges and the world around us. Collaborating better, supporting you to be effective in your work, whether that is normal or has been disrupted. And we are solving real problems quicker, because we are collaborating. Many stories to tell. Where do I start?
I mentioned only a week ago in ep141 about the stories which were emerging about how people were solving problems, or working through challenges, or connecting and collaborating to shorten the learning process at a time when rapid learning is vital.
My world started to drastically change on Saturday 14th March, as did many of yours. In just two days we had planned the Office Hours Together session, a virtual online space set up for you to dial in live. Your feedback since then has been awesome, and many of you expressed the value you saw in knowing you weren’t alone, in hearing the discussion we had with Wade Needham, a previous guest of the show, about how he is tackling this challenging time. We had Q&A, and whilst it was a slow start we weren’t able to get to all the questions you asked.
And I had kind of anticipated that. It’s like at a good conference presentation, only a few questions are heard and answered, and many are left to linger in the minds of the asker. I realised that was potentially going to happen, so we started to design an online collaboration platform to provide a place and space, for people to interact where time or the number of voices was not a constraint. Some of us do spend time online in discussion groups and forums and things like that, but many of us do not. Circumstances change, and we are called to adapt.
On the 17th March, we started to collect your insights and challenges, because the most important thing to do in a crisis, is to get intelligence about what’s going on for the most important people, which for me, is you! A wonderful team of volunteer colleagues stepped up and started to analyse this data, which I encourage you to continue to send through as it gives us the ability to not only learn what’s on your mind at a point in time, we can learn from how that is changing over time. All of this is about understanding you better, rapidly, to respond to your needs.
It is insights like this that informed how we structured and what we covered during the first office hours virtual session on the 19th March, with an overwhelming registration and attendance, and most importantly, retention. You stayed in this virtual catch up, over an hour, which suggests that it was a valuable time for you. It was the first time, we learned a lot, like I said about the need for additional channels to ask questions and have a dialogue. And we continue to learn from your insights, as long as you are generously sharing these with us, using the form you can access at safetyontap.com/together,it’s towards the bottom of that page.
This means the office hours session planned for the 26th March will be even better. Your number one challenge is getting access to trustworthy information to help you make decisions and advise your business. We have a solution for that. Your general concerns which aren’t immediate, but more deeply reflective have revealed that resilience, or a lack thereof, is a focus right now. You are also struggling to define your role, who you are, and how you deliver value in your business. I know of no better person who can talk about engineering resilience into your business and the changing role of the OHS professional, than Dr. David Provan. Probably one of the most popular previous guests of the podcast, he is undoubtedly an expert in both of these areas of need you are telling me. But before we get to Dave, we will be focussing on you, instead of Q&A at the end of the session, we will have Q&A at the start. Because I know you have lots of questions, and the Office Hours team will do our best to satisfy you without delay. Register for the Office Hours live session at Safetyontap.com/together
We have also learned what the many other important things to you are, like enabling people to work from home successfully; what it means to be leading, participating in or having to total take control of business continuity and crisis management in your business; specific concerns about Covid-19 risk controls; and plenty of interesting industry-specific questions, and innovations.
What to do if you run out of hand sanitiser and where to get it made, quickly and easily?
How to achieve physical distancing when your people have to be at work?
Can you wash and reuse disposable PPE?
What happens when we run out of PPE?
How are remote teams collaborating effectively using technology?
How do we support the mental health of frontline healthcare workers or teachers still at school?
How can you influence your CEO when they want to keep people at work and they shouldn’t be?
How long does Covid-19 persist on surfaces, and what are good cleaning regimes?
These questions, are a mix of two kinds of things. Factual information, and non-factual information, like discussions, stories, experiences, opinions, lessons learned. Both are useful in different ways.
The Safety on Tap team, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Health and Safety, have rapidly developed, which is basically an anti-bullshit methodology – a way to cut through the confusion and contradiction to get the best information and use it with confidence in making decisions and advising your business. Not only have we developed the way to do this, we are gathering a team of crack evidence interrogators to take your most important questions of confusion and curate the best available information. It will be done for you!
As for the non-factual information, what a treasure trove for you to tap into. Did you know you if you run out of hand sanitiser, you can either a) go to your local compounding pharmacy and get them to mix some up for you, or b) find a local a gin distillery, which can very quickly be turned into a hand sanitiser factory. Either they are doing it already, or you can help them adapt and help you solve your problem at the same time. You can’t look this stuff up on Google, these things are learned, most rapidly, by one person who shares it with many people.
And here we enter, the Together Platform. This online collaboration forum will be available for you to join on Thursday 26th March. We all know that the internet isn’t being very helpful at the moment, and neither is social media. The Together Platform, with a team of moderators and curators, is the space and the place for you to do two simple, yet powerful things:
To ask for help, and
To offer help to others.
Share your stories of success, or learning through failure. Tell the world about your innovation, or what you discovered. I learned about the compounding pharmacy making hand sanitiser from podcast guest Cameron Stevens, and he discovered this only when his local coffee shop was going to shut the doors because of hand sanitiser supply. He solved a local problem, and we can all benefit from his learning. This is super-human intelligence.
I mentioned that I really started to buckle down on this challenge on the 14th of March. It’s now the 26th. We are adapting, building, responding, and learning. And we’re going to need it, this is not going away anytime soon.
All we need to make this work, are two things. You need to be virtually present, and you need to share. Go to safetyontap.com/together, head over to the Together Platform, and start asking, and start sharing. I know that you all have something to both ask, and to share. I don’t need to get in the way of your learning process, as the Chief Connector at Safety on Tap, I am merely enabling you to improve by a) helping connect you with new ideas, and information, b), to connect with each other to learn, and c) ultimately helping you connect with your better future self.
Evidently, our future selves seem to be arriving much quicker than usual at the moment. It’s your decision about whether your future self will be better, or the regular kind.
Go to safetyontap.com/together
And here’s your FREE download of the full transcript of this episode.
Feel free to share this with your team/colleagues!