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Happy New Year - Looking Ahead at 2015
Welcome to Dolphyn’s First Newsletter for 2015.
2014 was a great year with our brand 'refresh' including changing our name to Dolphyn, a new logo and the launch of our updated websiteWe are proud of what we achieved in 2014 and are looking forward to continuing our great relationships in 2015. 

In this edition we look at ahead at 2015 and share some of our plans along with information about our most popular programs and of course our popular Book Reviews. 

If you like what you read, why not share our newsletter by clicking on any of the 'share' buttons below.

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Dolphyn's WHS Due Diligence Program*

The Importance of Leadership and Culture when Dealing with Risk
Dolphyn understands that risk is subjective and is a 
wicked problem. Organisations and leaders who understand and accept this, know that dealing with 'wicked problems' is challenging as they can only be 'tamed' rather than 'solved'. 

Health and Safety legislation in Australia aims to deal with this, in part at least, through the 
six steps of 'Due Diligence' which are set out in the legislation of many States and Territories. Many of the 'six steps' are subjective, using words like 'appropriate', 'having knowledge' and 'assess'.

Leaders need to understand what they can do to better understand the 'grey' behind these six steps.  The key, aside from having appropriate and relevant systems of work, is for leaders to get to 'know' their organisation and people through effective conversations and relationships. 

With this in mind, Dolphyn developed our Due Diligence Program* to support leaders, including those people defined as 'Officers' under Health and Safety legislation, understand the importance of, and the impact that the culture they create as leaders, has on how risk is dealt with in their organisation. 

Our program consists of two parts:
  1. Our 'Due Diligence' (culture) review and;
  2. Our 'Due Diligence' training program. 
Dolphyn is currently conducting a Due Diligence Review of one of Australia's largest communication and media outlets, with a report being prepared for their Board. 

We will be delivering our training program to the full Board of a large mutual organisation based in country NSW in February 2015. 

If you'd like to know more about this program and how it may work for your organisation, drop us a line at 

*used with permission from Human Dymensions

What's Personality Got to Do With it?

Personality Type - Leading in Risk
Did you know that the the team at Dolphyn are accredited Majors PTI (MBTI) practitioners?  

Dolphyn can help you and leaders in your organisation realise how understanding different Personality Types are important in many areas of leadership including dealing with risk, leading teams and managing conflict. Building Personality Type into our risk and leadership programs is one of the points of difference between Dolphyn and other organisations offering similar services and we can help you and your team to understand this also.

We are conscious however, that when you put a 'label' on someone (MBTI is made up of 16 different 'preferences') that this has an impact too, so our programs are focused on using MBTI to understand 'self' in order to be more tolerant and understanding of 'others' which is important in building effective relationships. 

Spotlight on our Associates

Gabrielle Carlton
Gabrielle (Gab) is the owner and principal consultant at
Resilyence. Gab regularly partners with Dolphyn in supporting our clients develop and implement leadership, cultural change and communication programs. Gab and Rob Sams also share their thoughts, learning and experiences in their Conversations on the Couch video blog.

Gab has a wealth of experience working across corporations and businesses such as Electrical Generation and Distribution, Aged Care and Disability, Large Residential Facilities, Property Management, Manufacturing, Construction, Rail, as well as Commonwealth and State Government.

Gab is a passionate leader in her field and has specialist skills, qualifications and experience in social psychology, risk and health and safety.

Psychology of Risk Conference

Reminder of a Refreshingly Different Conference

There has been nothing like this conference before, with its focus on understanding people and how this is critical in dealing with risk. 
The conference will be held at The Australian Catholic University in North Sydney on 25 & 26 March 2015 and is reasonably priced at $675 which includes all meals and the conference dinner.

Keynote presenters include: David Fitzgerald - Telstra; Graham Long - The Wayside Chapel; Matthew Gill - Former General Manager Beaconsfield and Dr Rob Long - ACU.

In addition, more than 20 practitioners from the field will be presenting workshops (in concurrent format) on the application  of psychology of risk principles to the workplace. Dolphyn's Rob Sams will be presenting at the Conference talking on the topic ‘What is excessive regulation doing to us all?'

For more information download a copy of the 
Conference Flyer

Sharing our Learning

A Selection of Our Most Popular Blogs
As is tradition with our Newsletters, we share a selection of our most popular Blogs over the past few months.

A key theme of the feedback we receive on our Blogs is that some of the concepts are difficult to fully comprehend because what he writes about is not always black or white (or what we know of as binary thinking). That is, it can be ambiguous, grey and messy. People are often looking for a right or wrong way to do things, for the ‘method’ that works best, for the approach that ‘will sort things’. If you like, we seem to be on a mission for the elusive ‘silver bullet’.

Here is a selection of our favourites from the past few months:

Could Understanding Grey be the 'Silver Bullet'?
In this piece, Rob explores the wonderful world that is 'grey' - the messiness, complexity and biases of people and why it is important to understand these in order to deal with risk.
Balancing Tight and Loose Coupled Systems
Finding a good balance between tight and loosely couple systems allows us to move between planning, doing and adapting so that we are best positioned to deal with the unexpected when it arrives.
Are you Creating an 'Obeyience' Culture?
There is a temptation, even seduction in risk and safety to focus on controlling others. This can appear the easy option at times. But what are the trade-offs and by-products of implementing a culture focused on control? Could it be an 'Obeyience Culture'?

Out of Your Unconscious Mind
Understand that importance of the unconscious on decision making and judgments is critical in effectively discerning risk. In this piece, Rob explores some of the factors that impact on our unconscious and decision making.

I Was Just Trying to Help
So many in risk and safety proclaim to 'be there to help'. But do we ever take time out to reflect what 'help' really means, and the impact that our 'help' may have on others?

Who Decides What is Ugly?
Rob Sams came into 'safety' through a traditional path of working in industry, studying for formal qualifications before working his way through safety managerial roles. In this piece, Rob shares the story of a visit to a local art gallery with his good mate 
Max Geyer  and ponders what life working in 'safety' may have been like if he came into it through 'art'.

Supporting People When They Need it Most

Mental Health Programs
Mental health and illnesses are an area of growing concern for many organisations. These are complex areas that can be difficult to manage and deal with, especially by those with little experience in the area. 

Dolphyn is proud to be associated with 
Lifeline in both Newcastle & Hunter and on the Central Coast of NSW. We are both proud supporters of, and contributors to, Lifeline's amazing work.

Did you know that in addition to Lifeline's telephone counselling service (13 11 14), they also run a range of other 
counselling services and training programs which aim to support people and prevent them from reaching the point where they need to contact the telephone crisis line? 

Did you also know that many of the services provided by Lifeline are done so by a wonderful group of volunteers? Most of the counsellors who answer the calls 24/7, and many of the team in the Lifeline shops (that raise money to support the services) are volunteers.

In fact, less than 20% of Lifeline's funding comes from Government, the rest must be made up through revenue from Lifeline Shops, sponsorship, appeals, community grants and events. 

If you are interested in supporting Lifeline, there are a number of ways you can do this:

Book Recommendations 

Understanding the Language of Risk, Gut Decisions and Randomness 
In order to effectively deal with risk, one ought to, as Gerd Gigerenzer puts it, be 'Risk Savvy'. This means that in order to better discern risk, it's important to have a good understanding of how we talk about it, the language we use to describe it, understand how we make decisions without all available information and the role of 'randomness'. These two books explore these facets well and are recommended for those who have that feeling that risk is not objective, and want to explore and further understand this. 

Risk Savvy - Gerd Gigerenzer

I heard a weather reporter this week that described the chance of rain as 'medium'. I had never heard the chance of it raining being described like this before, I was left wondering, "what does 'medium' mean?"

It reminded me of the story in this book (p.3) where Gigerenzer tells the story of a U.S. television weather report that stated:
"The probability that it will rain on Saturday is 50 percent. The chance that it will rain on Sunday is also 50 percent. Therefore, the probability that it will rain on the weekend if 100 percent"

In this book, Gigerenzer talks through the importance of understanding the language and its meaning in how we describe and think about risk. He makes the point in this example with weather that even though we have better forecasting technology which means that meteorologists are able to provide percentages when it comes to the 'chance' of rain, this greater 'precision' in prediction has not necessarily lead to a better understanding of what the prediction means. The books provides great guidance on how to better develop the language you use when talking about risk. A simple example in this case would be to clarify the 'reference class' - that is, a percentage of what?

Risk Savvy also explores the notion that having more information doesn't always lead to better decisions. Gigerenzer spells out that in the real world, the best results often come from using simple formulas, considering less information and listening to our gut. While this can feel counter-intuitive for some of us, this book helps us explore and understand this through some great real life examples. 

Fooled by Randomness - Nassim Taleb

Taleb, author of the infamous 'Black Swan' has created another great piece about 'luck' and how we perceive and deal with it in life and business. Taleb is a former stock trader and a clever mathematician and he provides many examples in this book of how we, as people, feel like we are objectively viewing and dealing with risk, yet are so often being 'fooled by randomness'. 

While I find Taleb difficult to read at times, particularly if you follow his posts on Facebook, I found this book easier to read. This is not a scientific text, in fact Taleb notes in the introduction that it was written "straight from the gut" and was "written for fun" (preface).

If you want to learn more about heuristics and biases and how these impact on our decisions about risk, this could be the book for you. There is a good chapter on understanding randomness and our minds and he talks about the impact of anchoring for example: 
"I asked the hotel concierge how long it takes to get to the airport. "40 minutes?" , I asked. "About 35," he answered. Then I asked the lady at the reception if the journey was 20 minutes. "No, about 25," she answered. I timed the trip: 31 minutes." (p. 194)
Fooled by Randomness is great if you want to further explore how we so often fall into the trap that risk is objective, but really, it is subjective and random.

Staying in Touch

Thanks for reading our Newsletter, we love staying in touch. We also love feedback so why not drop us a line at and let us know what you think.

We also understand that you may not want to stay in touch, that's easy, just click on 'unsubscribe' below and you'll be taken off the list. 

Wishing you a great 2015. 

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Thanks and by for now,.

Rob Sams
0424 037 112
Copyright © 2014 Dolphyn Pty Ltd All rights reserved.

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