PAPod 175 - Just Culture: The Movie - Sidney Dekker’s Interview on the Documentary


A just culture is a culture of trust, learning and accountability. In the wake of an incident, a restorative just culture asks: ‘who are hurt, what do they need, and whose obligation is it to meet that need?’ It doesn’t dwell on questions of rules and violations and consequences. Instead, it gathers those affected by an incident and collaborates on collectively addressing the harms and needs created by it, in a way that is respectful to all parties. It holds people accountable by looking forward to what must be done to repair, to heal and to prevent.

You know when you go to a director's screening of a movie that the director comes out on stage after the audience has seen the film...I don't know if you have ever been invited to one of those fancy showings - I can't remember ever getting an invitation to one...that is what this episode is chance to talk to the producer of a docemantary about safety and just culture.

This film documents the amazing transformation in one organization — Mersey Care, an NHS mental health trust in the UK. Only a few years ago, blame was common and trust was scarce. Dismissals were frequent: caregivers were suspended without a clear idea of what they might have done wrong. Mersey Care’s journey toward a just and learning culture has repaired and reinvigorated relationships between staff, leaders and service users. It has enhanced people’s engagement, joint ownership and sense of responsibility. It has taken the organization to a place where hurt doesn’t get met with more hurt, but with healing.

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