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Meet the Author with Brett Read

By Tamara Parris
Published: March 25, 2021 | Last updated: November 4, 2021 03:20:23
Key Takeaways

Brett Read discusses topics from his book Safety Performance Reimagined: A 4D Approach to Organizational Performance

Join us for another Meet the Author as we have Brett Read discuss topics from his book "Safety Performance Reimagined: A 4D Approach to Organizational Performance" with hosts Gary Wong and Tamara Parris

Safety is ultimately about people. The conventional approach fails to equip organizations to handle the complex interplay between people and technology in workplaces. The book identifies the need for a sociotechnical approach and introduces the concept of 4-Dimensional Safety.

Safety Differently, Safety-II, and HOP address the Why and the What of the New View of safety, but there is one more piece that needs more exploration—the How. This book provides proven practical solutions and outlines ‘How’ organizations can achieve sustainable safety performance.



00:28:02Tamara Parris:Welcome everyone :)
00:31:57Paul Daly:The asymtotic curve comes to mind...
00:32:09Paul Daly:*Asymptotic
00:32:29Tanya Hewitt:I think this pandemic has taught us much about the status quo
00:34:29Travis Robertson:I love that example. A great way to look at it.
00:34:32Lisa Lande:What's missing? or/and what's going right?
00:35:34Lisa Lande:First Break All The Rules is a great early on Gallup book that quantifies the correlation between focusing on success and performance.
00:35:54Paul Daly:I was thinking the same @Lisa... an interesting choice of words - missing from the system/plan/??
00:36:31Lisa Lande:Cunningham is the author.
00:38:59Travis Robertson:@Lisa, Did you say that Tiger Woods quote came from a book?
00:40:09Lisa Lande:I did Travis, but erroneously: I actually had heard that interview with Tiger in the month or so pre or post reading the book. It stuck in my mind as a powerful example.
00:40:24Tanya Hewitt:We do not focus on / give much attention to what goes well.
00:40:33Lisa Lande:(embarrassed face emoji)
00:41:18Travis Robertson:@Lisa, Do you recall the interview? I would love to watch it.
00:41:59Lisa Lande:No, Tanya, we don't. We don't even do it with ourselves. Most of us leave an activity and evvaluate first on what we missed, got wrong. I've trained myself to shift my self talk to ask "what did i do well that i want to keep doing?" and only later transition to "and what would I do even better next time?" This has helped my performance greatly.
00:43:02Travis Robertson:I agree @Tanya. Safety inherently lives in a negative world but who says it has to be that way.
00:43:03Tanya Hewitt:We have a negative bias that many of us do not recognize - and we succumb to it as a result.
00:43:17Lisa Lande:Travis, interestingly, the interviewer was Princess Fergie! ...let me see if I can find it. Remember, this was 10-15 years ago when that book and this interview occurred.
00:43:58Tanya Hewitt:Pat Lencioni talks about a people focus being the last competitive advantage in business.
00:47:16Tanya Hewitt:We don't want to embrace toxic positivity, either.
00:48:50David M. Crockett:The negativity is with on our perceptions - which are constructed in our minds. we need to take a breath and focus on the facts of the event.
00:49:50David M. Crockett:*is within
00:50:41Lisa Lande:Yes, Bret.
00:51:13Tanya Hewitt:Anonymity is a job killer.
00:54:11Lisa Lande:It seems to me we are constantly seeking and assessing our sense of psychological safety (and physical, for that matter)
00:54:19Tanya Hewitt:We constantly conflate "nice" and "kindness".
00:54:48Lisa Lande:Safety is forever pursued and fully experienced fleetingly. The living organism's condition maybe?
00:54:57Tanya Hewitt:And engage in ruinous empathy as a consequence.
00:55:16Lisa Lande:Yes, Tanya. Many do.
00:55:52Lisa Lande:And many interpret honest positive feedback as "nice" as opposed to seeing it/experiencing it as inherently reinforcing.
00:55:55Paul Daly:It's not the seed, it's the soil...
00:56:18Tanya Hewitt:Great analogy @Paul
00:57:53Lisa Lande:Indeed Michael, it takes talent too and an eye on risk.
00:58:32Tanya Hewitt:I remember hearing a great PA podcast where Todd was saying he had talked to CEOs who were "such a victim", but he said they run the company - they can change the processes, they can start talking to people, they can start acting as responsible leaders.
00:59:17Rosa Carrillo:I find it interesting that my question isn’t addressed? Am I imagining it?
00:59:42Rosa Carrillo:Who makes the leader feel psychologically safe?
01:00:06Lisa Lande:Part of Tiger's focus on excellence WAS his ability to identify risk. The point is, he didn't focus there, he incorporated awareness of risk as part of his success. This is key.
01:00:34Paul Daly:Perhaps I am putting too much emphasis on the information that has been put out there publicly recently (on challenger), but... if people do speak up and the response closes it down - is that a psychologically safe workplace?
01:02:04David M. Crockett:What can go wrong? What do we need to do correct/well? What went wrong? What went well?
01:02:11Lisa Lande:I wasn't clear: he didn't get consumed with his errors, but focused instead on success which includes noting where risk existed (e.g., the sandtrap) Different eye, yes?
01:02:38Tanya Hewitt:Making decisions with multiple priorities is not easy - but it can be done in a way that is consistent with values, and hence defensible.
01:02:59David M. Crockett:Four questions for a supervisor of their team
01:03:50rachel:Impressionist leadership v’s effective leadership , more learning and development in this space is required, this can only happen with psychology safety across all levels
01:04:46Tanya Hewitt:I think @Gordon is on to something here - we all play a part.
01:05:05Tamara Parris:Yes, I agree Tanya
01:07:20Tanya Hewitt:The right thing to do is not easy - but that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing Simon Sinek - The Courage to Lead – 3:28 – It is extraordinarily difficult3:28 – 6:02 - Case study of doing the right thing6:02 – 7:43 - Compliance with the law is a low bar7:43 – 10:10 – The consequences of maximizing shareholder value10:10 - 10:55- Infinite mindset companies10:55 – 12:09 – Finite mindset leaders12:09 – 13:21 – Infinite mindset leaders
01:08:42Travis Robertson:Wow Gordon, I talk about the Westray Mine disaster in almost all of the classes I teach. Thank you for sharing that. I had a distant distant cousin who died in that incident
01:10:00Tanya Hewitt:We do not really even know who @Rosa's "real leaders" are, because they are HUMBLE. And most of our society does not celebrate humility.
01:10:01Tamara Parris:Great shares :)
01:10:18Tamara Parris:So true Tanya!
01:10:33Tamara Parris:
01:10:56Gordon Walsh:thanks Travis. Shoot me a note at [email protected]
01:11:12Lisa Lande:It is exactly this self protective motivation exhibited by a manager who seeks his/her own "safety" that may lead to the resistance to change and the "sharing" of power - true empowerment within the organization
01:13:12Tanya Hewitt:And, as David Woods pointed out, at the beginning of this global pandemic (or in any crises), it is the relationships that we depend on in the collective sensemaking.
01:15:15Tanya Hewitt:Incentives are so critical - we need to really start to understand far more the consequences of intrinsic and extrinsic motiviation
01:15:26Lisa Lande:Rosa, I appreciate your question of the "real leader"/manager who experiences psych safety by sharing power vs maintaining power may fall into the realm of socialization...or behavioral reinforcement. How do we change the metrics externally that form a new sense of internal psych (and physical) safety?
01:17:26Gordon Walsh:thank you folks for this session. Very good discussions and thought provoking. I have a conference to check into. I look forward to reading your book Brett. And to Rosa's point "top leaders" do take the chance to lead whether it affects their own path to success or not.
01:18:15Tanya Hewitt:I just listened to Pat Lencioni's podcast on being a little j jerk - to say what needs to be said, even if it might not want to be heard.
01:19:20Lisa Lande:I believe we can acclimate and learn to feel psych safety with uncertainty. It's a constant search.
01:20:05Tanya Hewitt:I love that Todd Conklin had reminded us that this pandemic had made the uncertain more evident - but we have never been able to predict the future, we have always lived with uncertainty in our future.
01:20:55Lisa Lande:If we are equating stability (e.g., absence of uncertainty) with psych safety, we're in trouble as a living organism. The beauty of resilience is our ability to adjust and find new ways to achieve a sense of safety.
01:21:19Tanya Hewitt:Absolutely @Michael Ruane.
01:21:28Lisa Lande:Many have noted this Tanya, but happy to read that Todd sees that too.
01:23:22Tanya Hewitt:Like the inventor of bicycle helmets - the emergency room physician who realized more should be done upstream
01:24:17rachel:Great discussion, loads to digest. Have to go unfortunately, other commitments…
01:26:03Tanya Hewitt:Great discussion, everyone! Thanks so much!
01:26:07Rosa Carrillo:@michael, that is a great point. PS can support wrong action as well as helpful.
01:26:15Paul Daly:Christa McAuliffe
01:26:41Michael Ruane:Mc Auliffe
01:26:42Tamara Parris:yes, it was Christa McAuliffe
01:29:09Lisa Lande:Thank you all. Great to be with you.
01:29:33Michael Ruane:Thanks all.
01:29:36Travis Robertson:Thank you very much Gary and Brett. It was a great conversation.

Our Guest

Brett Read is co-author of the Amazon best selling book, Safety Performance Reimagined and is the creator of 4D Safety® and 4D Tracker, a leadership software and dashboard, that drives safety performance to create injury free operations. 4D Safety enables organizations to measure, monitor and develop safety leadership capabilities. His experience spans leadership roles in the Australian SAS where he served as a Major and as an operations and business manager for two multi-national companies.

Brett understands risk and human factors and what it takes to safely lead operations in high risk environments. This understanding was developed as a qualified senior sky-diving instructor responsible for running drop zone operations, and as a qualified wreck and deep diver, diving on wartime wrecks in the Pacific. Today Brett competes in various levels of Motorsport including tarmac rally and is also an accredited Motorsport Event Commander and Competition Manager. Brett’s experience has enabled him to develop a detailed understanding of the leadership practices required to create injury free operations in hazardous work environments.


He has twenty plus years global consulting and coaching experience specialising in safety leadership and the development of high performance teams in a range of industries including oil & gas, mining and construction. He has pioneered new thinking and research based approaches to safety performance which has enabled clients to achieve consecutive years of Lost Time Injury (LTI) free operations.

Brett is an author and regular conference speaker in the areas of Safety Leadership, Safety Differently, Sociotechnical Safety and Sustainable Safety Culture Change. His passion is for safety performance improvement through leadership, team culture and organizational development strategies.

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Regular Hosts are:

Gary Wong, Complexity Facilitator at Gary Wong & Associates, Bachelor of Applied Science, Masters of Business Administration, safety and organizational change from a complexity perspective.

Tamara Parris, Community Development, Bachelors of Social Work, Occupational Health and Safety, and Emergency Management.

Rosa Carrillo author of The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership, safety leadership consultant, MS in Organizational development.

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Written by Tamara Parris

Profile Picture of Tamara Parris

Tamara Parris is the VP of Community and Business Development at Safeopedia, and owner of EHS Professionals Group on LinkedIn. Her passion is working with other EHS Professionals to collaborate in thought leadership, networking and connecting our industry peers to resources that will increase profitability and safety practices within their workplaces. Tamara has been in the Health and Safety field for over 20 years, her industry experiences include the Construction sector, CCTV and Security, and Commercial Retail industries.

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