Since the beginning of the year I’ve been reflecting on the podcast, and where it’s headed. In all my New Years energy I attempted to plot out a 3 month plan for the podcast, so I’ve got both the ideas, the guests lined up, and that many podcasts recorded ahead of time, so I don’t have a pressure filled Wednesday and Thursday getting the podcast out on time, which was becoming the weekly norm, and so I felt like that would be serving you better.
That just wasn’t working, so instead of the trying to fix the situation with more rational planning and organising, I’ve thrown planning almost out of the window. I enjoy each episode because I learn so much, and each episode reveals new things to me. Planning ahead took much of the adventure out of the podcast, because the plan dictated what interview I gave you each week instead of seeing what emerged. So I’m doing the latter, planning less to maintain my sense of awe and surprise. I didn’t know this at the time, but recently learned that this has a name – what Nassim Taleb has coined being a rational flaneur, being the French word for a person ambling or strolling, who makes decisions at every step based on observations and new information – not the prisoner of a plan. So out of more chaos hopefully greater insights will emerge, though I may drop a week here or there…and by all means please keep sending me suggestions for future episodes, I’ll just be ruminating on them a bit more than I did last year.
It is in that spirit that I invited Tim Austin to have a chat. Tim leads the WHS function at AACo, one of Australia’s largest vertically integrated agriculture businesses. I recently read an elegant and thought provoking article Tim wrote on the Safety Differently blog about psychological safety, which he is in a good position to do since he has a background in psychology and is currently studying for his honours in psychology, while working full time which is no mean feat. Tim’s article focussed on psychological safety in organisations, drawing on the research to explore what it is, and how we might both understand, and influence it. It got me thinking – what’s the psychological safety like within our profession? Are we at risk of disengaging, hiding, causing mental anguish, failing to learn, if there isn’t a high level of psychological safety? So Tim enthusiastically agreed to open that can of worms with me.
Here’s the link to Tim’s original article on psychological safety