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The All Things Risk Podcast

The All Things Risk podcast explores the themes of risk, uncertainty and resilience as applied to sports, the arts, current affairs and just about any other domain. We feature long-form conversations with interesting guests who have loads of fascinating stories, tips and tools.
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Aug 27, 2023

In this episode, we look at decision-making in the world of deep sea diving, a topic that provides us with so many transferable lessons to other domains. It is also a very fun conversation. My guest is Gareth Lock. Gareth is the founder of The Human Diver, an organisation that improves the effectiveness of diving skills through specific human factors training.

Gareth has had a long career as a diver, starting out his career in the Royal Air Force where he spent 25 years. Over the years he realised that one thing the military does very well is teamwork – which, of course makes sense because poor decisions, bad behaviour and a lack of situational awareness can cost lives. Gareth found that the world of diving focused heavily on technical expertise – obviously important – but emphasised human behaviours and decision-making less than it should. As a result, he brings these approaches to the diving profession. Gareth has led many complex dives all over the world. He has also taken a huge amount of amazing underwater photos which you can see on his website.

This conversation is filled with wonderful insights about decision-making, working in teams, planning, the importance of constructive dissent, psychological safety, a just culture, making change happen, systems thinking and much more.

Show notes:

The Human Diver, Gareth’s website

Gareth’s book Under Pressure – Diving Deeper with Human Factors

Gareth’s documentary ‘If Only’

Steve Shorrock on Human Factors

Local rationality

Blog post: “Near misses: Were you lucky or good?”

Authority gradients

Creeping determinism

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Join the Club by Tina Rosenberg

Piper Alpha

Kotter’s 8 step model for leading change

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