Monthly Archives: March 2009


Valueless values

TGIF is an informal gathering of like-minded people who meets every Friday to discuss interesting topics.  The invitation they sent out this week really got me thinking.  Here it is (emphasis added)... Is it possible to "hold" values without owning them?  Ask 10 people in the street whether they think honesty (for example) is a great value, and 9.5 of them will say yes. Ask the same 10 people whether they are always honest, and there will be fewer affirmations - [...]

Learning to dance

I came across this little story in a book byMax Lucado.  I thought it was quite applicable to the way many people approach business ... Let's imagine that you want to learn to dance. Being the rational, cerebral person you are, you go to a bookstore and buy a book on dancing. You take the book home and get to work. Finally, you think you’ve got it, and you invite your wife to come in and watch. You hold the [...]


After way too long, we are now finally launching a newsletter this month. At this stage it will be a quarterly edition that advertisesprojects and events, promotes new product lines and points torecent blog posts you should read. You can start subscribing by giving us your email address in the Newsletter block on the right menu bar, but we'd also like your suggestions on what to call the newsletter. At this stage we're looking at calling it "Dialogue". What say you?

By |March 6th, 2009|Categories: News|Tags: |0 Comments

Safety is now an industry, is now a religion

This post is an extension of the thinking in yesterday's post on theevangelism of mine safety (read it here). It strikes me that, in South Africa especially, we have managed toexternalise the role of safety. If we had to deconstruct whatquality work, or mining, is we would find that operating safely is a core component of that work. In recognizing this, and the critical nature of safety, we have successfully extracted safety from quality work, and put it on a pedestal [...]

Values vs Slogans

We attended an interesting public workshop on Mine Health and Safety today.  One of the speakers said the following:  Zero harm should be a value, not a slogan. This made me wonder,  how many supposed "values" are nothing more than slogans? ... We often find that people (especially leaders) pay lip service to the latest hot topic by coming up with a catchy phrase, but there's no real substance or commitment behind it. A case in point is the seemingly [...]

The religious evangelism of mine safety – a new metaphor

In our recent research collaboration with Deloitte into the state of mine safety (available here) we exposed a metaphor that was prevalent in the industry: that of policing. That is, almost the entire industry is being governed by the dynamics associated with policing behaviour, risk, attitudes and impact. While attending a seminar today, where we presented the results of our recent study, Sonja and I uncovered another prevalent metaphor: that of religious evangelism. We noticed how almost every presentation or comment was [...]

Unashamedly Ethical

One of the dominant stories we have in South African business is that of fraud and corruption. The corruption story pervades every aspect of our business dealings, relationships and value added (or not added) to clients. I'm intrigued as to how the strongholds that a dominant story like this begin to break. My background as a narrative therapist suggests that the breaking free of an unhelpful dominant story only begins to happen when ... one acknowledges the dominant story for what it [...]