Back in October, my recorder in hand, I set off to Edinburgh for Lean Agile Scotland 2016. It was, an attempt to find a topic for the first episode of my new podcast The Agile Path. By the end of the day, I had settled on the simple idea, of “Safety”.
Safety seems to be a topic that in some way, almost every conversation, almost every talk, in some way, touched upon. But, I wasn’t really sure what this safety was.
I knew, innately, what it was to feel safe, I had worked with teams that I had described as unsafe. But, I wasn’t able to find a succinct or consistent definition. A way to assess if a team (or even an entire organisation) was or wasn’t safe.
Safety, seemed both essential (but I was at that point, not entirely sure why), and enigmatic; resistant of formal definition.
So, I started out on a journey. By early the following year, I had interviewed over 30 people, in over 60 hours audio. And this, is a distillation of those conversations, to get to the heart of what safety is and why it’s critical (although often lacking) to the success of our teams and organisations.