So what have I got in store for you today? My guest Carsten Busch is a German born, Dutch raised, Norwegian working and English speaking curiosity – a while ago he released a book called Safety Myth 101 – Musings on Myths, Misunderstandings and More. Now apart from his unashamed use of alliteration, it caught my attention because I had never heard of anything like it before – how many time have we had an interaction with someone in our organisation and thought “you’ve got it all wrong, that’s a myth, it’s just not right?” and we’ve stumbled over our argument for an alternative theory, viewpoint or methodology. So I wanted to hear what he had to say, and got the book. Now you can read the book if you want to, which I encourage you to do, but in this interview I wanted to understand where Carsten was coming from when he wrote this, what has changed, and get a feel for how he sees these myths as a challenge for safety practice, or maybe how he was trying to challenge the thinking of safety practitioners like you and me. Here’s Carsten:
I know you most of you won’t have read Carsten’s book, so I won’t talk too much about specific myths. I encourage you to grab a copy for a few bucks (and no, I get no commission for sales!) and in the meantime, here’s my takeaways from that chat with Carsten
- Have a think about the myths you might hold on to, or maybe myths that pose challenges to what you are trying to influence. A myth by definition is a traditional story or belief, which is widely held, often based on history, but rarely true. How much of your safety practice is founded in fact, in evidence? I was really challenged by reading Carsten’s book, especially when he said most people don’t know James Reason’s work beyond swiss cheese (yes, I am blushing and squarely in that category). If you want to be credible, backup your practice, and challenge your assertions and find your own myths and those of others around – it will make everyone smarter, and more confident about the way forward.
- You are an untapped gold mine, you and your wealth of personal experience. I see amazing learning happening inside our growth accelerator program Safety on Tap Connected when one member, full of their own doubts, shares an experience or thought, a reflection wholly made up of their worldview, for other members to learn from. Carsten has written a book, a career of reflection captured in words and given to the world, which is a huge undertaking. You don’t need to do that, but a short story, a reflective comment, a mini blog post might help many other people who can learn from your awesome and unique experience. Why not write something today, and share it around? I’d love to read that!
Now I mentioned in the interview that we’ll run a little competition – send me your favourite (or most annoying) myth, explain a little about it, why it is a myth, and what you can do to challenge it. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or better yet simply post it in the comments for this episode at safetyontap.com/ep055. Carsten will pick a winner, and I will send you a copy of Carsten’s book as your prize. Put your myth in the comments at safetyontap.com/ep065 or via email to email@example.com
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Until next time, what’s the one thing you’ll do to take positive, effective or rewarding action, to grow yourself, and drastically improve health and safety along the way. Seeya!
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