• The Summit Conference & Event Center (map)
  • 411 Sable Boulevard
  • Aurora, CO, 80011
  • United States

Come to beautiful Denver, CO, on September 10, 2018 to interact with bestselling writer, filmmaker, pilot and professor Sidney Dekker for an exclusive 1-day Masterclass.


Art of Work invites you to join this one day masterclass with Professor Dekker, Chief Scientist at Art of Work. This is your chance to interact with and learn from one of the foremost voices for a human-centered and humane approach to safety; and to network with others.

Work has never been as safe as it seems today. But bureaucracy and compliance demands have mushroomed, imposing a huge cost on productivity and national economies — up to 15% of GDP. This includes many detailed compliance demands that organizations inflict on themselves and their contractors, far beyond regulatory requirements.

During this masterclass, you will be invited to start thinking differently about labels such as ‘human error’ and ‘root cause.’ You will feel inspired to reflect on your own assumptions and models of risk and safety, and on how applicable they are to the safety problems of your organization. You might stop just trying to prevent things from going wrong, and instead identify and enhance the capacities that make things go right. You will be encouraged to look for areas where you could begin to decentralize, devolve and declutter the safety work of your own organization. You will be moved to start thinking differently about accountability and the restoration of trust among your workforce.

Doing safety differently is about finding the courage to decentralize, devolve and declutter; to critique your own models and assumptions about why things go right or wrong, and to question often taken-for-granted links between personal and process safety. It is an investment in hope; in rediscovering ways to trust and empower people, and in reinvigorating the relationships, humanity and dignity of actual work.

Participants will learn to:

  • Engage with their organization to begin moving beyond labels such as ‘human error’ and ‘root cause’ and the blame they often imply;
  • Explain the differences, background and (dis)advantages of several models of safety and risk and where and how they are applicable to problems identified in their organization;
  • Reflect on safety not as the absence of negative events, but as the presence of positive capacities in your people, teams and processes, and to collaborate in identifying and enhancing those capacities;
  • Collaborate with colleagues to identify areas where safety processes could be decentralized (out to operations), devolved (down to the lowest possible level of decision authority) and decluttered (liberated from unnecessary paperwork and duplication);
  • Assess their organization’s capability to begin applying a restorative just culture, focused on forward-looking accountability, trust and learning.

Sidney Dekker (PhD Ohio State University, USA, 1996) is professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, where he runs the Safety Science Innovation Lab. He is Chief Scientist at Art of Work, and has honorary professorial appointments at The University of Queensland and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. Previously, he was Professor of human factors and system safety at Lund University in Sweden. After becoming full professor, he qualified on the Boeing 737, and worked part-time as an airline pilot out of Copenhagen. He has won worldwide acclaim for his groundbreaking work in human factors and safety. His debut documentary Safety Differently was released in October 2017, and he is best-selling author of, most recently: The Safety Anarchist (2017); The End of Heaven (2017); Just Culture (2016); Safety Differently (2015); The Field Guide to Understanding ‘Human Error’ (2014); Second Victim (2013); Drift into Failure (2012); and Patient Safety (2011). More at sidneydekker.com

Sidney and RideFree Media released Safety Differently: The Movie late last year. It tells the stories of three organizations that had the courage to devolve, declutter, and decentralize their safety bureaucracy. Origin Energy reduced the size of their Safety Management System by 90%. They made safety an operational issue, a field-focused one, cutting centralized safety staff and reducing the bureaucratic accountability requirements imposed on engineers in the field. Queensland Health discovered a profoundly different way to deploy local expertise and simulation to improve care processes. Rather than assembling caregivers in a central location and telling them how to do a particular procedure, simulation experts fanned out into the huge state, using local process simulations as tools for discovery and sensemaking, and asking people what they needed and wanted. Woolworths Supermarkets ran a randomized controlled trial, taking everything related to safety out of a group of stores and telling the store manager: ‘don’t hurt anyone.’ Injuries went down, innovations went up and a deep sense of ownership blossomed. One store in that group won the annual safety prize.

Interestingly, these organizations discovered that much of their compliance and bureaucracy was self-inflicted. Laws and regulations demanded some things for sure, but the majority of the permits, tool restrictions, checklists, rules, guidance and procedures that penetrated deeply into the capillaries of people’s daily work were all driven internally or by their contracting arrangements to other organizations. Too many cooks in the rule-making kitchens, few or no calls for evidence of the need or efficacy of the rules, liability fears, and sheer bureaucratic entrepreneurism meant that it was easy to make things difficult. It was easy to add stuff, and almost impossible to take stuff out. But these organizations did, and did so successfully.

These organizations rediscovered ways to trust and empower their people. Their stories offer hope; they reinvigorate the humanity and dignity of actual work. These organizations learned to resist the kneejerk to centralize, standardize and control everything their people do. They now try to harness autonomy, mastery and purpose as drivers for people’s motivation to do the right thing. Their safety outcomes are impressive, as is the reduction of business drag; the happiness and engagement of their people speaks for itself. Their stories are an immense inspiration for everybody suffering under the weight of bureaucracy and compliance—whatever the domain they work in. The film is available for free at sidneydekker.com/safety-differently-movie


Click here to Register

USD$285 (early bird price until 20 July 2018)


The first 20 people to sign up for this Masterclass will receive an exclusive discount code for one of Sidney’s recent audiobooks, The Safety Anarchist, or The End of Heaven.