Bob Cummins, Director, Sodak Ltd
I help companies create safer, more secure, healthier and more effective places of work.
I am an engineer, I used to be a civil engineer, I’m now a behavioural engineer. I specialise in helping leaders create environments that bring out the best in their people through the application of behavioural science. I run Sodak Limited, a behaviour design agency. My background is construction, in the later part of my career, I specialised in health and safety.
I become increasingly disheartened and frustrated with the way it was all heading. Piles of procedures and paperwork, increasingly patronising initiatives and the incessant preaching that “all harm was preventable”. I mean, come on, how can all harm be preventable when we still rely on people?
Safety just isn’t a priority; if it were, we would be given unlimited budget and time.
No, safety has to be a value. Some harm will befall some people during their lives. We need to recognise this and continually improve, not shut down conversations because we are too scared to admit someone, somewhere might get hurt.
In 2008 I started learning the principles of behavioural science. This helped me see why so much of what had been creeping into health and safety seemed like such nonsense. Over the next five years, I studied the subject extensively. I became completely absorbed in understanding why people do what they do.
The more I learnt, the more I could identify the source of the chaos and see the harm caused by ill-informed initiatives. In 2011 I set up Alternative Safety Ltd to challenge the entrenched thinking about health and safety.
I formed Sodak in 2013 with the express aim of helping people understand people. Our team includes academics, consultants, industry experts and specialists. We help organisations improve performance through the application of behavioural science and evidence based management.
Learning this stuff changed my life and I want to share it with you too.