Meeting a hero…

I’ve spent the last couple of days in Aberdeen at an annual dinner, now in it’s 10th year. The fact that something matters so much that a group of people work together for ten years to keep it going is quite something, and over this time I’ve made some dear friends.

This year was slightly different. You know how you read a book by someone, and it resonates immediately? How you make a connection with the concept the author tried to get over, understand and use it in your own work? It can happen with fiction or non-fiction books, where something jumps out and inspires you into action. This happened to me many years ago when I started to look at the connection between psychology and high-hazard safety. The connection between the human and the machine, the mechanics and the story.

Because my strengths lie in writing, I lean towards books of all kinds to make this connection. One person has stood out in bridging this gap successfully, and he was our guest speaker at the dinner last night. I was able to chat with him about my work and had the rare chance to ask if he thought I was on the right path. It wasn’t like meeting a pop star or a famous actor, as they give little meaning to my everyday life and work. This was, for me, like meeting Einstein or Darwin; the knowledge imparted has formed a base to one area of my thinking.

I won’t embarrass this person by naming him, but suffice to say he was a delightful guest and enjoyable company, and, bearing in mind his widespread fame, completely down to earth. Not only did I learn a lot about his model and the history of its creation, I was also able to observe the stance of someone great in their field.

I feel lucky today, and more sure of my future direction…