Full show notes: www.safetyontap.com/ep215

Are the ideas of science at odds with a humanist approach? Can we solve all the big problems with big data and analytics? Can you really succeed with tools and practices and not understand the philosophy behind them?

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

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.

The healthcare industry is one of the biggest growing in many economies around the world as population growth continues, more people are living longer, and advances in medical care and pharmaceuticals are preventing more and more illness and death than ever before. 

Dr Satyan Chari has been hard at work in this sector for many years, and I’ve been trying to get him on the podcast for ages.  He is a great communicator, has done some cool collaborative improvement projects, and has always struck me as someone who knows his stuff but is anything but a know-it-all. 

It’s been a long time coming, and a little longer than usual, I hope you enjoy, here’s Satyan:

Before you go, I’ve got a few takeaways to share with you from that chat with Satyan Chari:

Takeaway #1: I feel like the biggest turning point Satyan shared in this conversation was the shift he made, not just to be more human-orentied in his work, but to actively help people to find their agency.  It’s not a word we hear a lot,  but is very relevant to all of us.  Agency refers to the capacity of individuals to obtain and use power and resources to fulfil their potential.  The opposite, which Satyan also mentioned, is when organisations and managers rob people of their agency.  Notice the wording – we are entitled to and value agency, to take it away is stealing.  The question for you, is does your organisation and your approaches to safety develop the capacity for people to obtain and use resources to fulfill their potential? My experience suggests this is a secret weapon in success….

Takeaway #2: Notice how casually Satyan said that he originally thought this and that, then he realised some problems with that and then he sought out new ideas and he changed his mind? He changed his mind! Can you believe it! An experienced, qualified, PhD changed his mind?! The sky did not cave in and nothing burst into flames.  It’s ok for you to change your mind if it’s going to make you and your work better.  Which raises two reflective questions: 1) what have you changed your mind about in the past? And 2) what should you seriously entertain changing your mind about right now that you haven’t, or afraid to?

Takeaway #3: He is putting ideas together, not staying in a box.  Concepts, tools, theories, practices, and philosophies.  We can write a list, there’s heaps! Ergonomics, success at scale, randomised controlled trials, person-centred, going on a journey, ecological approaches, and a bunch of theories from other people.  I originally asked him to talk about human factors and ergonomics, and he said no, he would rather talk about the intersection of Satyan is seeing, playing with, combining, and recombining a bunch of things.  The answers you seek are never in just one place – you need a collection of ideas to bring together that make sense in your context.  Can you describe your own collection of ideas as diverse and broad ranging as Satyan’s? Or do your ideas come from a limited number of sources? Might be time to get some more ideas from other places and see what happens when you mix them up, I promise it will not fail to reward you. 

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 – Ep215: The intersection of systems innovation, creative design & systems thinking, with Satyan Chari

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