Table of Contents

The Safety View: Shattering the myth of ‘I don’t have time’

By Tamara Parris
Published: April 6, 2021 | Last updated: November 22, 2023
Key Takeaways

We are having a Leadership Conversations for High Performance about Shattering the myth of “I don’t have time”


Join us as Adriènne Kelbie dives into leadership conversations for High Performance with hosts Rosa Antonia Carrillo and Tamara Parris as we shatter the myth of “I don’t have time”!

Adriènne Kelbie CBE, Executive Director, Chief Executive Office for Nuclear Regulation UK will talk about her conversation and engagement practices as a senior executive. Rosa interviewed her staff for my book, and she is the real thing! She’s authentic, caring and commands excellence.


Please subscribe to our Safeopedia podcast.


00:59:36Janice Fingler:Hello – Janice from Vancouver, Canada
01:00:23Tanya Hewitt:Hi everyone – Tanya from Ottawa Ontario Canada – unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabe nations
01:01:00Bob Kunz:Rhode Island
01:01:07malcolm.jacobs:Buffalo NY
01:01:07Adrienne Kelbie:hello. I'm from Scotland 🙂
01:01:08Dan Suess:From St. Thomas ON
01:01:11Gary Wong:Hi all from “sunny” Vancouver Canada
01:01:12Diego SAMPIETRO:Hi everyone! Diego from Argentina
01:01:14Tom Osorio:Tom Osorio, Yorkshire, UK.
01:01:21Evan Verbanic:Batavia, NY
01:01:22Greg Spencer:Yorkshire, UK
01:01:28Jake Mazulewicz:Good morning from lovely Richmond, Virginia
01:01:29Brett Read:Hi All, I'm from Australia
01:01:36Suzanne Jackson:Good morning – Kamloops, BC
01:01:39Janelle’s iPhone:Janelle from Melbourne, Australia and its 2 am here. So no video for me
01:01:39Jacqui Carr:Hi all, Jacqueline Carr from Siemens in Munich
01:01:40richardknowles:Youngstown NY (North of Niagara Falls)
01:04:14Adrienne Kelbie:slight issue, I'm not hearing much!
01:04:57Adrienne Kelbie:Are others having sound distortion?
01:05:09Jake Mazulewicz:Yes.
01:05:33Greg Spencer:Looks like Tom and I are both close to where Adrienne was Deputy Chief Executive and Corporate Director for Business Support for Hull City Council 🙂
01:05:51Adrienne Kelbie:I'm going to drop off and come on again. I'm SO SORRY!
01:09:54Eric from Toronto:She may need to shut off her camera
01:09:59Eric from Toronto:This helps for me typically
01:10:15Jake Mazulewicz:If you’re using a VPN, try turning it off.
01:10:50Jacqui Carr:Sounds good now 🙂
01:11:34Tamara Parris:Thank you everyone for sticking with us! Great community 🙂
01:14:24Dan Suess:Apologies all. An urgent matter has arisen. Need to leave. Wishing all a great weekend.
01:14:45Tanya Hewitt:We need to change the language – get rid of soft skills – replace with critical people skills
01:15:29William Martin:Binary Bias, Can’t be “Nice” and be “direct, has to be one ore the other. Republican / Democrat, “Either/ Or”
01:17:15Tanya Hewitt:We also need to be aware of the difference between nice and kind. Nice can become super saccharin, and heading towards toxic positivity. Kind allows us to say the kind truth, with compassion, but not shying away from what needs to be said.
01:17:27Gary Wong:Innovative ideas often come from looking at Either/Or dichotomies and asking: What might emerge if we view from a Both/And paradigm.
01:18:34richardknowles:I walk into the organization, sit and have a cp of coffee, share, listen, learn together and grow. This created the space where it was safe so they could all speak up. over several years, trust levels rose, injuries dropped greatly, productivity rose 45% and earnings up 300%. It was working with the people.
01:18:55Tanya Hewitt:Absolutely @Gary – we can reframe a lot with both/and
01:19:27Greg Spencer:This discussion of comfort zone suggests judgement is key… yet lots of organisations seem to operate as if reliance on human judgement needs to be reduced. How do those pressures get reconciled?
01:20:04William Martin:Chapter Title from “Built to Last” is
01:20:08Janice Fingler:GREG has a question
01:20:18Tanya Hewitt:@Richard – I love that story! I never tire of hearing of how you interacted with the staff, even when you needed to answer to the board.
01:20:19William Martin:“ The Wisdom of the AND and the Tyranny of the Or”
01:20:46malcolm.jacobs:You should invite Rosa Gonzalaz an amazing lady the Chair Emergency Management the first Cuban and Female Nuclear Engineer in the US [email protected]
01:20:52Gary Wong:Good one, @William!
01:21:14Tanya Hewitt:I liked Todd's recent podcast on curiosity and comfort being opposites …
01:22:06Brett Read:Creating a mastery orientation allows for safe growth and development. And is even more powerful when done in a psychologically safe organization.
01:22:27Tom Osorio:I wonder if Adrienne had any specific approaches to moving technical specialists such as the nuclear physicists or engineers in her organisation to move out of their non-technical comfort zone; such as behaviours critical to effective teams.
01:23:11richardknowles:We can create freedom for people to make decisions close to their work while strengthening order and focus. It is about engaging and growing together. I work with them and not on them.
01:23:35Greg Spencer:I love the framing of "detect risk and detect opportunity" 🙂
01:23:54William Martin:Human Judgement has many drivers, some are in our DNA, as Instinct, Some in the KNOWLEDGE we absorb, and Some from INTUITION. Intuition comes from the 11 million bits/second our Subconscious processes so we can act automatically. When the idea is spit out to our conscious, and we don’t know where it came from, we call it intuition.
01:25:51Diego SAMPIETRO:brain is "wired" to save energy… so we need to provide low energy paths to the required safe behaviors.
01:25:59Gary Wong:Listening and gathering stories/narratives can help to early detect weak signals of pending danger (risk) and emerging opportunity (serendipity).
01:26:27Tanya Hewitt:I love this – there is so much more than compliance – we need to go beyond safety compliance!
01:27:03William Martin:YEs, Awesome, Brain, 2% of our body weight, 1 liter of blood/minute, 20 % of all the food we eat and air we breathe. A gas hog.
01:28:40William Martin:Peter Drucker, “Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast”. In order to apply strategy, we need a culture to apply it. Compliance can be driven ,or can be part of the culture, so it’s natural.
01:29:35Lucy Harrison:Question: What advice would you give to someone on the ground in nuclear, trying to hit targets under pressure, trying to control a project, locked in conflict with their team?
01:30:33William Martin:HAven’t we modeled the behaviors we need in a corporation already, in a healthy family unit?
01:31:57Tanya Hewitt:@William – I wonder how many healthy family units are out there that can be used as models….
01:33:43Tanya Hewitt:Actually, @William – you bring up a good point. I have talked to people to say "oh, I don't act that way with my daughter" – I remind them that they have the skills, they just need to transfer them to different contexts – work, social, etc.
01:34:13Jake Mazulewicz:Question for @Adrienne. How have you handled very “compliance-driven” regulators, auditors (or lawyers) who don’t want to interact with front-line people, or understand real-world work, and who seem to focus exclusively on whether or not “rules have been followed.” How have you dealt with people like that?
01:34:19Jake Mazulewicz:(apologies if you answered this while I was thinking it up). 🙂
01:34:23William Martin:I’m thinking, if none of the participants as children drank drano or Liquid Plumber from under the Kitchen sink, is it because of the Health and safety Plan your parents followed, or the daily job brief, or perhaps the lock out tag out on the cupboard door. Or was it the sheer discomfort of the responsibility of having a child and the culture that developed around that?
01:35:30William Martin:QUESTION?:
01:35:35William Martin:ADRIENE,
01:35:44Gary Wong:Blunt end of the Safety
01:35:52Jake Mazulewicz:Audio is breaking up a lot.
01:35:59Tamara Parris:yes,
01:36:14Tamara Parris:Nothing we can do on our side unfortunately.
01:36:21William Martin:Can we model the future and behaviors of healthy families? Is that too simple? Do we project our safety on the organization when everywhere else we handle it ourselves?
01:36:27Tamara Parris:Have shut down the live stream and camera
01:36:59Jake Mazulewicz:Yes, sorry. Audio is very broken.
01:37:08Adrienne Kelbie:I will do that
01:37:17Gary Wong:Regulators are at the Blunt end of the Safety spear. How can the regs, policies, etc. been seen as enabling rather than controlling by the the workers at the Sharp end of the spear?
01:38:30Tanya Hewitt:Gary's model highlights the responsibility / accountability mismatch that a lot of this new view is trying to address
01:38:55Eric from Toronto:Dale Carnigie, Chris Voss, & Rosa all touch on the importance of helping people "save face" even if they are thinking in a way that is harmful for their organization and themselves. @Adrienne Can you share a scenario where you may have had to gently position an idea to help a senior level manager see a different way of doing things while making them feel okay about their original philosophies/procedures?
01:39:50Gordon Walsh:Good question Eric!
01:40:14Adrienne Kelbie:Hello again! All of our regulators go into the field. we ask for feedback, we promote 'soft' skills as equal to 'techincal ' skills. you have to pass both to get promoted….
01:40:40Adrienne Kelbie:We don't have such a matrix – it's not helpful to us.
01:40:43Tanya Hewitt:Technical and critical people skills …
01:40:57William Martin:When we focus on the violation, we are engaged in outcome bias. We know what happened, so we are now geniuses.
01:41:10Tanya Hewitt:@William 🙂
01:41:42Adrienne Kelbie:Eric, I ask a lot more questions to help people see things differently. I ask about what data they are 'seeing' to hold a perspective. and I often offer then other data that they are blind to….
01:43:11Greg Spencer:Question for Adrienne – how did working at the DBS change your perspective? Especially knowing that so many day-in, day out judgements are marginal but with potentially life changing consequences?
01:43:25William Martin:We have to be careful of Fundamental Attribution Error. I suspect rules did not change the accident rate, but the improved relationship did.
01:43:26Tanya Hewitt:Learning is the lifeblood of an organization – human performance principle #4
01:44:09Tom Osorio:Adrienne, the common challenge of 'safety' and regulators is we need change behaviours, beliefs and systems, but it is all to easy and authority comes from ability to TELL people. How did you changes in culture feel to the regulated Nuclear Industry sites?
01:44:47Jake Mazulewicz:Thanks Adrienne! Yes, when regulators have to get into the field to see WAD, not just WAI, that’s a game-changer.
01:45:09Adrienne Kelbie:DBS, like ONR, carried a lot of weight on my mind. I saw staff do that too. We offered a LOT of support, peer conferences, and opportunities to say 'I'm not sure' so we worked the difficult judgements together. And we kept the mission and our purpose HIGHLY VISIBLE. we shared feedback a lot
01:46:21Tanya Hewitt:We need to look at incentive structures – how are regulatory inspectors rewarded? The number of infractions they found? Are those the reports that get more attention? Not to say that regulators turn blind eyes, but is there an implicit quota that might be at play?
01:46:43Gordon Walsh:Thanks @Richard for your contribution! Much appreciate the experiences to drive success.
01:49:14Tanya Hewitt:Fabulous insight – public servants can be seen as serving the public – their feedback (be it a nurse, an inspector) needs to be shared with emotional agility.
01:50:26Tamara Parris:in other countries, can both individual and companies be monetary penalized by the regulator? without court involvement, for the violation of a regulatory requirement.
01:50:40Tamara Parris:I know here in Canada they can.
01:51:09Tanya Hewitt:Good point @Tamara – the legal system is part of this.
01:52:07Tamara Parris:I know my relationship with the Regulator was they worked with us to help improve, and IF someone is a repeat offender then they will slam the hammer
01:52:12Tanya Hewitt:Vulnerability is a strength, after all
01:52:33Tamara Parris:BUT I am not in Nuclear so it is very diffferent
01:52:34William Martin:I love the depth! There’s always a story behind the story
01:52:39Eric from Toronto:@Adrienne Thank you for your comment to my question this is a great approach, I saved this in my notes.
01:52:45Gary Wong:@Tanya: Unfortunately the legal system is Win/Lose too often. I prefer the Tribunal idea which seeks a more Win/Win solution.
01:53:07Greg Spencer:Yes – we need to see if we can speak for US in taking things a particular way… and that's risking rebuff…..
01:53:15Adrienne Kelbie:I HATE not being able to see ou all!
01:53:39Tamara Parris:All good if we can hear you 🙂
01:53:40Tanya Hewitt:@Gary – agreed – we need a more restorative approach to justice, but the system is set up to be retributive. We can't ignore this.
01:54:06Jake Mazulewicz:Many thanks @Adrienne!
01:54:38Jake Mazulewicz:Alas, I must step out. Thanks to all. Bye.
01:54:45Tamara Parris:Thank you Adrienne for sticking with us.
01:57:02Bob Kunz:Rosa, thank you. Adrienne you have put wind under my wings and for that I appreciate your sharing. I have to leave – sorry.
01:57:24Gordon Walsh:Thanks Rosa and Tamara. And Thanks Adrienne!
01:58:27Maria R. Lopez:Thank you FANTASTIC session!
01:58:46Jacqueline Carr:Thank you Adrienne! I really love how you approach leadership and psychological safety. You made it sound so simple and straight forward, which is refreshing and exactly what is needed today.
01:58:50Lucy Harrison:So sorry I have to go to be with the kids. Thank you Adrienne and Rosa, it has been lovely to be involved. Have a lovely Easter.
01:59:07Gordon Foot:Thanks so much Adrienne
01:59:15Tanya Hewitt:Fantastic session, Adrienne and Safeopedia – thanks so much! Have a wonderful Easter!
01:59:15Gary Wong:Awesome session all! Thx very much Adrienne!
01:59:18Adrienne Kelbie:I'm open to further chat- just hook p on Linked n! Again, sorry about my tech…
01:59:19Suzanne Jackson:Very inspiring message today. Nice to hear from a CEO level.
01:59:42Tom Osorio:Powerful to hear the impact on the regulator's delivery externally from creating a safe constructive space internally.
01:59:48Maria R. Lopez:The importance of the one-on-one sessions in helping employees feel included and building psychological safety. Thank you.
02:00:53William Martin:I would work for you Adrienne. I get to see the result of people’s decisions, as a flight nurse. It almost always a human based decision that could have changed their outcome. Not a compliance or rule based decision.
02:01:10Janice Fingler:Thank you!
02:01:21richardknowles:Thanks Adrienne for you contributions. thanks to everyone.
02:02:26Tamara Parris:
02:02:35Jim Marinus:Thank you Adrienne, Tamara and Rosa!


Our Guest:

Adriènne Kelbie CBE, Executive Director, Chief Executive Office for Nuclear Regulation UK

Adriènne Kelbie’s supportive and straightforward approach to leading ONR has led huge cultural change, modernisation and an outwards-looking approach to the GB nuclear safety regulator.

Having first started work as a secretarial temp, her eclectic career has crossed sectors and featured managerial, operational, project and senior leadership roles, with over twenty years at Board level.

Her transformational impact comes from leading by example in engagement with staff and stakeholders alike, and she’s known for being an incisive and effective coach who helps others be their best with her mantra “Your comfort zone is not your friend”.

As the first Patron of Women in Nuclear UK from 2016-2019, she has championed and tackled the need for greater inclusivity. She was awarded the rare distinction of Honorary Fellow of the Nuclear Institute in 2017 and the Northern Power Women’s Transformational Leader Award in 2019.

In October 2020, Adriènne was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020, for services to the nuclear industry and to diversity and inclusion.

But mainly she just likes to be helpful, cheerful and address things in the ‘too difficult’ pile.


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Written by Tamara Parris

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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