The Learning Team Part 2
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
The Learning Team Part 2
September 24, 2020
In this week, Sheldon continues the talks with authors of the new book "The Practice of Learning Teams: Learning and improving safety, quality and operational excellence.", with foreword by Dr Todd Conklin released August 2020 (ISBN: 9798665374321, Sutton, McCarthy and Robinson: Pre-Accident Investigation Media). In the book Dr Todd Conklin states: "The Practice of Learning Teams will become a powerful resource in changing the way organizations learn and improve their operations. This book is easy to read and full of great concepts that can be used as soon as you read them. I love a book where you read an idea in the morning and try the same idea that very afternoon." From the Author Brent Sutton A Learning Team is notable because it encourages organizations to obtain and consider different perspectives and angles of functional diversity to define a problem in a group context. The different perspectives that emerge from a Learning Team group demonstrate that no one person holds all the knowledge needed to solve complex problems. Glynis McCarthy The purpose and principles of Learning Teams resonate with my Adult Learning beliefs. In Learning Teams, I see an inherent opportunity for enhanced worker learning. I also see the opportunity to support a positive learning culture. Learning Teams provide a dual opportunity for both workers and the organization to learn from everyday work. Brent Robinson Learning Teams as a way to facilitate and capture knowledge from the people doing the work are a perfect match for Lean. Lean can provide tools to capture and disseminate knowledge across the organization and by applying the PDCA cycle the learning culture will become embedded across the organization.
Brent Sutton, Brent Robinson, Glynis McCarthy, Todd Conklin, HOP, BBS, EHS, Safety, Safety and Health, Safety FM, Jay Allen, Organization Culture, Safety Culture, Workplace Safety, Business, ISO 45001, ASSP, BCSP, CSP, competency, Sinapore Accorde

[00:00:00] spk_0: this episode is powered by Safety FM.

[00:00:05] spk_1: This is Sheldon Promise, the host of the safety consultant podcasts. During this time, we've all been tightening our belts because of Cove in 19. I have been as well. Recently. I found cost effective alternative to some of the services and programs that I was using, such as email, marketing, hosting services and even one of my favorites. Teachable Visit Sheldon Prima's dot com back slash resource is for special offers to help you reduce your business overhead. If you're hosting a podcast or one of host the podcast, then visit Sheldon prime ms dot com. Backslash hosting for a knockout deal. Don't give up on your dream. Get smarter on the back end of your business. Welcome to the safety consultant podcast E. I am your host, Sheldon. Promise Things is the podcast where I show you and teach you the business of being a safety consultant. On this week, we're gonna continue our conversation that we started on Monday with the Learning Team and, uh, the Learning Team again. If you did not get a chance to listen to Monday's episode, go back. You want to hear this way? We're talking to Branch Sutton, Glennis McCarthy and blood print. Robinson. You guys remember when I was getting, like, a tough time with the branch s? So I was like, All right, We might have to end up doing like Brent Death and Brent are. But obviously I did not do that one s o. I was really just learning a lot about the learning teams How proactive it is. Uh, some of the things that you could see Theo employees. They are the key to improving your system, improving your process. It goes into safety culture. But even beyond that, it could be organizational culture. Um, in this episode, we're just learning a little bit more on then truly Just trying to get a good feel of how to incorporate this. Not only as you give this stuff to your clients has a safety consultant, but if you're still, uh, making your way to being full time for yourself and you're currently and currently working for someone as your you know, get in your way to be full time. Uh, this is actually gonna be helping you too. So just go ahead. Uh, continue listening to three group and we have a great time together. Uh, like last week, I'm gonna go straight into the episode with no other sponsoring or read for this one. And then afterwards that's it. I'm gonna end the episode. There is no tip of the week. This week is Well, eso after this. Have a great weekend. When we come back on Monday, we're gonna have Jill James from Vivid Learning. And, uh, she's actually x OSHA and a host of one of the safety FM shows on that is accidental safety pro. So I'm gonna have Joel James accidental safety pro on the Monday episode. So just enjoy the rest of this with the learning team, and I will just see you back on Monday. Theme with

[00:03:43] spk_0: Absolutely the facilitator is somebody that is providing an opportunity for people to share their perspective. The facilitator is there to really do problem identification. I think what the rollers facilitated then is to be able to scope on DWhite when it's natural for us to want to get into solution mode on Gwen we get when we jump into solution mode too quickly, but haven't really understood the problem as it is. Then what The facilitator is doing is bringing it back to that problem, exploring the problem, summarizing what is being said so that people can hear it through different. Three different voices on Beacon get a much richer understanding off. What is the situation and the context that we're talking about? You know, you made a comment before about How do you get the different stakeholders within organization to see value in something like learning teams? E think through the participation of learning teams. Certainly some that Brent and I have bean privy to where we've had workers and managers. Workers have taken away a feeling off. Yeah, we're part of the solution. We've got some value to give and management on the other side have bean, you know, literally sort of blown away by the insight by how much workers see and understand in the expertise that they bring in terms of their role on DSO. I think it's about building those partnerships, and you're right. There is an element of trust, but there is an element of trust that is needed for safety toe work.

[00:05:19] spk_1: Absolutely well, very well put. A question just came up to me their asses You're talking about this. What happens after the learning Team together? Thea. Outcome of the learning team And now it's time to put this into, ah, process of procedure or something after you have you learnt this thing, especially if it's a management to change, that's it becomes a little bit easier because now you've worked out what you need to do, and then you go ahead and do your plan. Do check Act system. But what's the for for any other process or or mitigation that may come out of a learning team? Does the learning team help implement anything or are they just for the problem solving activity? And then it goes to another side of the organization to take over from there.

[00:06:13] spk_2: Oh, great minutes to explore a bit more, But I think I just want to explore with the shouting something really interesting about P. D. C. A. That's twice its really important theory. Journal model was P. D s A. So the original model was Plan Thio study and act on. Then I will change it to plan Thio chick and act, and I think there's something completely different between studying and Chicken e. So for us a learning team is basically saying, If we've implemented an improvement, has Thean improvement delivered on what we thought on? If it hasn't in any way we could do that is by studying how it's been put into place, not checking if it's present, a studying what's what's the context off it studies about the context. Checking is about the presence off it. If it didn't if it didn't work as intended in either you got two options. Get rid of it. Otherwise it becomes clutter. And, as you know and safety, we're really good at building barriers off defenses, more barriers we could put in, the better off we are. But if they served our purpose, I don't know why they're there. So either get rid of it because it becomes clutter or improve on it. Yeah, it guys,

[00:07:45] spk_3: Yeah, I was just kinda used the example in the construction industry. We might run a learning team on a particular process. On the work front, we're working on with a group of people and typically what you're talking about. Trust within the organization will have the head contractor come to us and say these things need to talk. Talk about it. You're pretty Start meeting in the morning. Sometimes I'm absolutely meaningless to us because we're telling us to talk about trenching or working height, and our teams might well be on the ground working on the ground so those things don't heavily used to it. But what we are doing is using the documentation set in Australia, we use a process called a safe work method statement. It's probably one of the most misused things on the planet. You'll see 18 page documents on how to use an angle grinder, and that's not what they're intended for on what we try to do is make them a really living document where we would try and, you know, with state of the teams. You guys will work on this stuff today at the beginning. Today, what worked welfare yesterday? What improvements can we make both from a safety point of view and an operational point of view, and they would feed into it and we're trying hand right. These are the changes we made. We've made this safer, and we found out one of the other teams was doing this. That's a really cool idea. It would be updated every day we had one of the contractors come to us saying, You've changed your safety documentations 10 times a month. What's wrong? Nothing's wrong. We're actually talking about it. It's actually improved. Eso You're right. You gotta flip it around. But you've also got to take it and just say, Okay, we're gonna run with This makes much more sense. And the theme guys we had on that side of this huge site we had 75 people. There's 2.5 miles across the side. There's 1500 people on a low trades across the side. Onda took collaboration with what's rather stakeholders on their side. You know, those that that's how come, you know, in a construction sense. That's how that's how it's changed over that period. That was the capturing point of it. Just became this living document. Yeah,

[00:09:51] spk_1: excellent. That's good. Uh, it seems like this might need I know you guys put together a group and the group, as it said, it seems like you have different levels of people who have engaged in learning teams before. What was the purpose of the group and tell me a little bit more about that and tell my audience a little bit more about about the group you guys set up about the Learning

[00:10:17] spk_2: Thio s e think a couple of things. Uh, Todd issued a challenge which was to write a book and what we thought about that challenge of writing a book because the purpose of the book was about building bitter community. Uh, because at the end of day, uh, would it be great to babble? Thio have a method of worker engagement where people felt valued and would have been great, that health and safety people could see things in a different light? Yes, it may risk more visible with one of those things. Be wonderful. Absolutely So Thomas Is that the challenge? Um and of course, like good people that we are here in this part of the world, Way said, Well, the fiscal going do We're going to write this book on learning teams by running a learning

[00:11:14] spk_1: team. They're Ugo

[00:11:18] spk_2: and Todd said it's either gonna be the worst idea ever known to man, or it's going to be freaking amazing.

[00:11:26] spk_1: E a a e. On.

[00:11:33] spk_2: And if you read, Todd's forward in the book is basically saying That's the best thing he's ever seen.

[00:11:38] spk_0: You were up for a challenge.

[00:11:40] spk_2: Yeah, way e throw goes wrong. We suddenly come back to where we are. Eso the concept waas That part of the book was the fact that we wanted to actually sheer, um, stories about how workers saw leading leading teams and also how the organization should saw learning teams as well. So throughout the book, we take their front pops of learning teams from teenagers that Brett Robinson could talk about because it's a really good story about dinosaurs and on these away through into the health care sector. We have got surgeons and you know, these high intelligent doctors and nurses. And we really explored how living teams can can co exist across lots of diverse industries on lots of diverse people and where every industry is dealing with certain challenges like health care sector has a big issue around command and control. Commander control. There's a hierarchy on, never question higher up, go out okay. And in this country theme system has been running these programs called Speak Up Campaigns for years. To try and do that way ran a learning team, which was quite interesting because people ask us about how long did I Taik okay and how many people? And there was a way ran a learning team with a group of people where we looked at or significant risks of their business way. Had the group people together for 90 minutes on the organization lettingme or 90 minutes in the last two years about those risks in 19 minutes or risks.

[00:13:43] spk_1: That's great. Some people they don't even let let their workers gone for half hour Safety committee meeting, You know, 90 minutes is significant, but, uh, you could very easily have done something like this over sessions and weeks. Yeah, but to get that kind of results in that short as 90 minutes, that's that's amazing.

[00:14:05] spk_2: Yeah, well, I mean, I've never seen an investigation be completed in 19 minutes waken doom or in a learning team Andan hour an hour and a half. Then you could spin doing weeks, days or weeks and an investigation. What was fascinating is that what people on what we saw through this process was what the organization took from and what the works took from it were very different, completely different. And it was unexpected. Yeah, because historically learning teams have have focused on other solution. Whereas what? We looked at the book. We actually looked at. What did people learn from it And just as important, what did the facilitator learn? A swell. Yeah, Because you too, e think we used the word future. Master this art because it is an art, it's not a process or procedures and art. You have mastered this art. You have to build critical thinking and reflection. Skills on those skills are things that you actually have to apply on. And when we wrote the book, one of the worst things that we encountered was the fact that as we learn mawr through the book writing process, we want to go back and rewrite the booth.

[00:15:33] spk_1: There were

[00:15:34] spk_0: more than others.

[00:15:35] spk_2: Yeah, yeah, way. Realize that the book would never get there, because because yeah, continuous improvement. You never get there.

[00:15:45] spk_1: That's the point, right? Continue. Simply that sounds like a like a nice oh thing to with continuous improvement, the, uh, 45,001. How it's looking for continuous management improvement at that kind of sounds like the same thing for me, But look, ahead. Continued story. Their bread, That s

[00:16:05] spk_2: what about Fred and Glynis. You want to share your story about the outdoor adventure? Bring because that's already

[00:16:11] spk_3: a thing. Was one of these high opening our moment Shelton, where my daughter is part of a e youth group that does a lot of outdoor adventure type stuff. And they had an incident where one of the kids 14 year old, fell off a cliff. It was significantly engine SP. It had to be airlifted to hospital on s oh, they did did the incident investigation. You know, what normally comes out was that he didn't follow the procedure remembering these 14 years of age the 10 pages of procedures that you should do and you shouldn't do and what you should have and you shouldn't have, you know, on. And so I speak to one of the leaders of the group and he goes, you know, the kids just I'll engaged and I said, Well, they won't be, will they? You can't give them that type of documentation. And it's just not the way they think. I said what you do. I spoke to Brent about us, you know, here's the Here's the issue we've got. You go around Learning Team. And so we got the kids to the older kids and one of them, my daughter, to be the facilitator on and gave him some instruction. We broke up a couple of groups. Andi they came up, gave him the scenario. So this is what you're gonna dio next weekend? Going to look at the risks. Andi start. But when we start putting up on the board, the kids wrote him out on sticky notes, come up on the wall on. Then we broke him down and those kids came up with a plethora of things and then weigh went away and forget about it and then came back and broke it down and said, OK, well, yeah, and then some of the stuff we got, we got two things. One was he could be eaten by dinosaurs. You could get hit by a media, or but the group didn't, you know, laugh of those because it was just having a bit of fun, and they took it down. Very unlikely to happen. We don't need

[00:18:05] spk_1: to worry about way

[00:18:07] spk_3: photograph. What? They came up with a bit of an affinity sort photograph, you know, pre trip on the trip. Things we need to be aware off. Tell the story. Tell the story of what happened to the other. The other kids were the failure happened because, you know, it's about capturing that story isn't way photographed at one piece of paper. Here's the things we're thinking about and gave it to them and each one of them having their little folder wasn't the 10 page document and it was a better outcome. And I just sat back and I looked at that. I said, If we could get 12 to 14 year old kids to go through this process, actually enjoy it because I had a bit of fun with it. A swell Oh yeah, and we produced a better outcome at the end of it. There is something to be said for this. This is amazing.

[00:18:50] spk_1: Yeah. Wow, that sounds awesome. Especially since they participated in finding the solutions. That's what everyone wants to do.

[00:18:58] spk_3: They created the mitigations toe, the the risks of a perceived. They perceive us differently. Thio was all great here. Guy here.

[00:19:07] spk_1: Yeah, they're risk. They're not risk averse. Some of those kids more risk

[00:19:13] spk_3: averse. They get older.

[00:19:15] spk_1: That's great. Uh, how? Tell everybody. Unless we have another story, Glenn it So I didn't know if, like, I gave you the opportunity. Okay, Well, I just want to see if you guys could get tell you honest how they could get your book and and and how to find you guys. That's what I want to make sure that that they have, you know, a wayto get ahold of you and get get started on this.

[00:19:39] spk_2: Yeah, well, look, I mean, the book was launched. We did a soft launch, an Amazon on the first week of August. So there's currently both a print edition and a Kindle edition available on Amazon. Just the way, uh, I called the practice the practice of learning teams. There's a funny thing. We thought we'd come up with something to drink all the practice off Andi. And what's different about the book, Sheldon, is that we explore on dip, uh, five key principles of learning teams. We explore the different modes of learning teams, but more importantly, way define What does a good learning teams facilitator look like? Way provide that person with the ability for them to assess where they're at them, to see where they need to bay and help them develop a roadmap around that. The book is mawr than just a selection off stories. The book is a journey, and the book was designed so that the reader is actually reflecting as they dio Onda. Sort of. Feedback we've had is that one. It's an easy read, just which is great,

[00:20:54] spk_0: and it's accessible for people.

[00:20:55] spk_2: Yeah, people they can connect to it that makes sense. They can see themselves in it on that process and that, uh, what they knew and where they came out with different things.

[00:21:09] spk_1: Did you use the five principles because of hop? Was it the same idea of keeping it five?

[00:21:17] spk_2: Well, it was really interesting. I said to Todd, because you fact, Britt Robertson and I met up with Todd on Denver two weeks after Todd's new book was published, and we got together with that group. I think it's called the big Discussion or something about the future of hop and stuff like that. And the first thing I said that Todd, is that, um, way want to reduce the risk of weaponization wear People take things and try to convert them into a tool because that's what we like. We like to take things, turned them into a linear process way. Need to develop a set of guiding principles that, as people adapt learning teams that they could look back and say, Does my adaption hold true to those founding principles? With first phase we did was we ran a learning team on what were the five principles going todo 1230 Todd, to say, What do you think of this madness? There was no sense in going through the forward until we actually worked out what those five core things were around that, and those five core things are not centered around any safety system. I centered around how to get that true engagement and that participation I'm happening where people feel valued in that way. Andi, in the books that we've gone from, there is part of that, Uh um on and from that what we then decided was that way, helping people to explore what good looks like. And what was interesting was Todd said to me, Look, he read the book. I think three or four times that because they keep going back to the kid learning Morris. He's going through it well, which was great from that point of view. Any commented to may see was one of few book Phillies read that you can learn something in the morning and try in the afternoon. Now the way we did things, we did things in such a way. You just give it a God a supported that process for that person to give it a go on. That way, taking a Ford and a Z Top would say how a bouncing learning teams forward, which is really important in the times of change and around resilience. What we're basically done is we've now formed a community of practice for learning teams, a place where people can connect them and feel part off a family and field and basically about to learn from others through that whole sort of coaching and mentoring type process that we're trying to build. Uh, we've launched our website, which is called learning teams community dot com, to try and build almost things, and that that website has a whole lot of free components and it has some other paid components which will be announced six months. But for those that feel they need some different types of support or some or, um, intimate coaching or mentoring around around that, it s so different. You know what? Whilst training is valuable training, the moment is being done in isolation. Persons is right. I want to give us a go. They go on training course, they give it a go. It doesn't work out because that's experience that I had. So when learning teams work well, it was amazing on learning teams didn't work. How expected I was left wanting way. Wrote the book to try and deal with that because a Z, you know, when you try something new and it doesn't work as intended, you can adapt us. Yes, what's worked for you in the past and we call that weaponization on when that doesn't work. Then you blind the system learning teams filed May s because we're in the snow. Blame world way basically said, How can we do it so that we can support the person on getting a good outcome with winning teams on, that person needs help to see some form of road map off. How they can progress on how they can build those skills. And we've talked about that. We're basically saying that we've identified five core competencies. You describe what those look like, even those levels. You're either emergent. Uh, you're either incompetent or you've got master of skills. And this is not about developing a bunch of super humans. Yeah, I was learning teams. This is simply saying that this is where you are comfortable at their thank Solent,

[00:26:38] spk_0: acknowledging that people have really spiky profiles. There's some people may have really, really good facilitation skills, but actually they need to up their technical skills with regards to learning teams. Or they might have, you know, really good listening skills, but are actually not that good. It's scoping and pulling people back in Thio focus on the task at hand.

[00:27:01] spk_1: Oh, well, that means that since you guys were so young asses faras the learning, the learning team community dot com. Then that means that throughout the throughout the time and you start getting more and more people built into it, you're probably going to see a whole bunch that's gonna really, really developed to, and I believe you guys got a few already, right? That of well signed up. You got me?

[00:27:28] spk_2: Yeah, Absolutely. And, you know, with the moment, uh, in New Zealand were working on a project order. So in our country, health and safety offending is a criminal offense that includes a jail time and and find up Thio $3 million if you're super naughty. Five years in jail, depending on which where you wanna go on me. Oh, we'll take the three. Mario three months. It's valuable. And way had a client who had an issue, and they basically decided that they were going to plead guilty. And they said to us, they said, Well, look, rather than paying a fine, why can't we make some good from bad? And this was in the maritime sector in the maritime sector is very much what we call command and control. No one questions the actions of the master of Skipper. No, uh, without the aviation sector. Very similar. Yeah. What they said was, why don't we try and do something where the entire maritime sector can learn promote? So we're in the middle off developing a learning teams framework for the maritime sector.

[00:28:54] spk_1: Wow, that's a massive undertaking.

[00:28:56] spk_2: Yeah, yeah. And we've got a ah whole group off diverse organizations across the sector. Everything from, you know, a passenger ferries to fright thio volunteer Coast Guard groups, ports are the unions and even like the power companies to do hydro a swell, a very diverse group of people. So that way we can look at how learning teams can be used across that whole sort of diversity not only off industry, but also a cross functional diversity within the organizations.

[00:29:40] spk_1: Wow, that's guaranteed a

[00:29:42] spk_2: different cultures. Have you name it a good partners? That's about a 2 to 3 year project. And what we're gonna be doing, Sheldon, is we're gonna be following the journey off these people during that time. Do

[00:29:59] spk_1: with video to that. Be awesome.

[00:30:01] spk_2: Look, you'll be once again, we've created these the journal environment people Able Thio record and reflect. And we're gonna be using things like podcasts, video casts, all these things. We will be part of that process. People consider their stories in ways that are meaningful to them. Doesn't have to be on paper.

[00:30:26] spk_1: Oh, man, that is awesome. E can't wait Now I got to see this thing i e. Hopefully you guys will be ableto post things from time to time and and keep us abreast of everything that's going on and be awesome

[00:30:43] spk_2: way well, that's all part of that community process pushing their back through Aziz. Well, because what we keep saying is that this is a journey. Everyone's journey will be different. Uh, what we're looking for is help people progress on their journey on what they've learned from their journey. On that way eso we're taking probably in a different approach to this. From a safety perspective, I know you mentioned about 45,001 way believe that things like learning teams and really helped to embed those types of standing. It's under organization.

[00:31:29] spk_1: Yeah, it was a

[00:31:30] spk_2: huge shift, and I saw and you know, for instance, there were some new terms that there was a new language got introduced with, I say, 45,000 and one that didn't exist with the anti standards or other standards on one of those key things talked about the over sixties opportunities. So where did the opportunities that can lead to improvement exist? That's what we think learning teams a powerful on there was a lot of focus with the new standards around participation and the standards of evidence based. They're not documentation based. That's key, not about shine media policy off it. I asked that they show me your evidence off it.

[00:32:17] spk_1: Yeah, the application.

[00:32:18] spk_2: Yeah, And a learning team is the practice.

[00:32:23] spk_1: Yeah, and it's It's such a good idea. And again, as long as the organization is committed top to bottom and no one gets their feelings hurt because there department is being looked at, are we? You know, there's there's probably some bit of that in there, too. But but in the pure sense of it, and I believe that this is, you know, something that is a long time comments. So congrats. Congrats on the thought Congressional in the book and the community. And I believe this is a, uh it's gonna be something that will transcend safety. Uh, it should be an organizational thing as opposed to just a safety thing. It would be wonderful for safety and health. Don't get me wrong, but I believe this has ah, bigger application.

[00:33:12] spk_2: And that's where the book is about safety, quality and operational excellence. Way. See those things I think you're weird. Transcending is really important. But what we've done is we've simply, um uh probably given visibility toe learning teams based on a lie. A pioneers of learning teams from the past. So from our point of view, what we're trying to do is create a bit of visibility about learning things rather than creating something itself. Yeah, so the credit actually goes to the pioneers or learning teams?

[00:33:47] spk_1: Yeah, I guess. If you're looking at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, uh, they they've had that on DNA, NASA, and and some of those aviation they've had this version before. So correct A I do have to give them their dio,

[00:34:05] spk_2: but we're just bringing it, um, in such a way where we can celebrate success and allowed to become embedded with the organization where organizations don't have to change

[00:34:22] spk_1: how

[00:34:23] spk_2: they do things.

[00:34:23] spk_0: E think this is really aimed at the practitioner. So this is aimed at the person who's going to facilitate those learning teams. So this is a kind of a how to guide the thing when you're trying something new is that you don't know what it is that you don't know. And so What we're trying to do is provide some insight into these are our experiences, and this is what's worked well for us. This is when we've seen it hasn't worked so well. This is what we've reflected on. This is what we're gonna be doing differently. And so I think that what you're able to do is grab hold of a whole lot of knowledge. Right from day one, the wind Todd says, You know, you can read this in the morning and then applied in the afternoon. This and validity in that, you know, you could look and you could look at your own practice and just think about well, how am I gonna How am I gonna have this dialogue with this group of workers? We've got this problem. You know what the problem is? We don't quite know how yet we're going to solve it. And instead of solving it in isolation, it's looking and saying, Well, how do we involve the workers and part of that solution process?

[00:35:22] spk_1: And that is perfect. I really think that the way for us in any organization to truly get lasting results is by incorporating everybody in the organization because they All our stakeholders. Eso And that's what you guys were doing. Eso excellent. Well, thank you guys so much for for Let me interview you. I was so glad that that Jake, uh, got us together. So I'm, like, really happy. And, uh, I'm excited about about learning Maurin being mawr involved in the learning team. So thank you guys very much.

[00:36:04] spk_3: Thank you. Thank you, Thank

[00:36:06] spk_0: you. This episode has been powered by Safety FM.