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107 Blame, Accountability and How We Make Buildings Safer with Gill Kernick

Season #7 Episode #107

Gill Kernick is an author, speaker and campaigner. In April 2022, Gill joined Arup University as transformation director working to shape a sustainable world. Gill is the author of Catastrophe and Systemic Change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire and Other Disasters. It combines her decades of experience consulting organisations in high hazard industries to build the leadership and culture to prevent catastrophic events. 

In this episode, we talk about Gills’ deeply personal connection to the Grenfell Fire, and discuss blame, accountability, safety and the need for a cultural change in the built environment. We also talk about “mindful compliance”, the impact of rules and regulations on decision making, and the notion of ethical leadership in the building industry.   

What We Cover: 

  • 5:33 How Gill started to work in the domain of safety and how her book came about
  • 14:34 - What low probability, high consequence events are and how surveyors can learn to live and work with the risk of such events
  • 25:14 - The difference between blame and accountability and why the bad apple theory is an unhelpful narrative in building safety
  • 32:52 - How to start changing the culture to enable different voices to be heard in the conversations around risks and catastrophe prevention
  • 41:54 - What ethical leadership looks like in the built environment 

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