Hey, it’s Andrew, and this is Safety on Tap. 

If we want to improve our performance in ANY area of our life, work or otherwise, there are ONLY three ways to do it, three kinds of how before we decide what to do.  For most of us, the decisions we make every day, many times a day, about which of the three ways to take, is invisible.  Until now.

Since you’re listening in, you must be 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.

Most people who go to the gym exercise more than people who exercise on their own because of the very fact that they are at a gym, and there are people around them are working out. And research suggests that you tend to exercise at the level of those people around you, whether they are high fitness or low fitness, you’ll tend to match them. 

Exercising at home is entirely possible for almost every person on the planet, and free.  

But when we invest in doing it with help and with the right kind of others, it almost always accelerates our results. 

Take that up a notch with a personal trainer, where you get more tailored help for your situation, you have built-in accountability and boosted motivation because of the design of the help/support you invest in (the PT). 

I mentioned there are three ways to improve performance, and only three. Everything you do in your life fits into one of these three categories. 

First, is Done For You (DFY). 

Eg. If it is Friday, and your construction companies tender is due next Wednesday, you call a consultant to DO a safety management system for you. 

You buy packaged steaks from the supermarket because it is infinitely quicker and in many ways cheaper for most people to do instead of growing, grazing, dispatching, and dividing up a cow.  Done For You.

(Did you know that you can get Done For You Exercise? For more extreme cases, including elite sports people, they have a physiotherapist do their stretching for them while anaesthetised!!)

DFY is excellent when you need to ‘import’ a specific result, quickly, and the benefits outweigh the costs.

It’s a greater investment for the most accelerated results.  (Caution: fast does not always equal better, like in the Friday afternoon magical safety management system example above, we all know that isn’t the best result)

Next, is Done With You (DWY). 

(You can tell by now, these categories mean what they say!)

The middle ground, is Done With You, where the help or support you engage is more a partner not a do-er. 

They are alongside you through a journey of change. 

They help you bridge the gap between where you are now, and where you want to go. 

They come to know you and you know them, and together you are invested in getting an actual result. 

A class at your gym is a kind of Done With You approach.  So is the qualified instructors who roam around the gym, who you can ask questions and get feedback on your technique or new exercises or whatever (you can tell I personally don’t go to the gym!). 

Your membership at the gym also creates a ‘commitment and consistency’ effect which increases the chances you will go, and the social aspects of the gym not only make it more appealing, you get better through friendly competition or advice sharing. 

Putting safety advisors out into the field/factory floor/job site might a Done With You service (but think carefully about this, DWY is not the same as Done To You, and on any one day a safety person might be doing a whole lot more Done For You work than the Done With You work).

Coaching is an awesome example of DWY which is highly leveraged (ie a small investment of time or money goes a very long way).  Whether you are deploying coaches in your team to help your operations people (you are the DWY service) or whether you are engaging a professional coach or mastermind or joining an implementation group like we run for learning teams, they are all DWY.  

Done With You is less investment compared to Done For You, AND accelerates your results AND is better suited to embedding longer term change (vs specific short term results) because the capability for change develops and grows with you, rather than staying with the outsider like a doctor or a butcher or the consultant who magics up a safety management system on Friday ready for Monday.    

Finally, is Do It Yourself (DIY). 

This is what most people recognise as an acronym, because most of us most of the time are DIYers. 

We are DIY cooks, teachers, cross-stitchers, and professionals.  We raise children with a DIY approach to life – hold your own cup, tie your own shoelaces, wipe your own nose  (and the other end for that matter!).  Buy the way we help others get to DIY proficiency is, you guessed it, a progression from Done For You to Done With You. 

We use training as a DIY service to our organisation (‘here, spend a few hours or a day in training, then out the door and you are on your own’.  Training is almost always DIY even though it feels like DWY). 

And then we are pressured to put DIY on steroids with e-learning and procedures and self-service intranets…..you see how that’s DIY?)

You are almost entirely DIYing right now because you are listening to this podcast (hopefully you’re getting enough value to get this far), but recognise that the potential for change in your life right now has barely any of my fingerprints on it, it’s almost all you). 

The Safety on Tap podcast is DIY.  So is most of the professional development out there (I say most because I know of the small sliver of options which are actually Done With You, remember that capability building piece I mentioned earlier?). 

DIY is the least appealing approach to change because it rarely, and slowly leads to real change. 

It is only appealing because it is cheap (as in, almost always free). 

And as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.  That’s not just monetary payment, that’s the things in which you invest something of value.  It could be money, or time, or attention, or love, or creativity.  Ironically DIY is the least effective way for you to close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be.

I can’t guarantee you any kind of result whatsoever by you listening or watching my free stuff.  But I always guarantee the results you get in any DWY approach.  See how much of a difference that makes?

What’s your point Andrew?

Everything you do to make change in your life or work is one of these three things. 

You will always need a balance of all three.

Being a DIY doctor is a bad idea for a fracture, unless you are a remote mountaineer and you’ll need more DIY medicine than most of us. 

Being a DIY food producer is some of us, whether you have a tomato plant on your balcony or you are a homesteader. 

Being a DIY safety person might get some stuff done in the short term but makes no real impact on the sustained safety of your organisation. 


1. Think about how you balance these three in everything you do, and if that balance makes sense.

2. In my experience we often use DIY when we need DWY, AND often times we use DFY then feel disappointed with the results (or lack thereof) because you really needed someone to Do it With You.     

The bottom line is think about how you invest (time, money, social capital) in which things to get you/others where you/they need to go.  When you do this with intent, it begins to reveal much clearer answers about how we, as safety professionals, can make change, build capability, lower risk in our operations, and ultimately not be relied upon by anyone, but missed if we were gone. 

Thanks so much for listening.  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?


Transcript – Ep212 Three ways of getting things done, with Andrew Barrett

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