July 1, 2021
In this podcast, JMJ Associates’ CEO, Jeff Williams, and Master Consultant, Gill Kernick, discuss how Gill’s experience writing her book, “Catastrophe and Systemic Change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire and Other Disasters,” impacted her both personally, and in her work with clients in high-risk industries. Further, they talk about the changes required to prevent future catastrophes.
About the Catastrophe podcast:
The fire colored the night sky a brutal orange. Thick black smoke rose from the building. From her living room in a neighboring tower block, Gill Kernick watched in horror as the Grenfell tower burned and 72 people lost their lives. Gill had lived on Grenfell’s 21st floor for three years. She loved the place, the people and the views of London. Now it was gone. As a master consultant advising high-hazard industries on how to prevent disaster, Gill felt helpless. This should never have happened. We always say that after a disaster, she thought, and yet they still happen. Why? This podcast, and the book it accompanies, are the result of a vow Gill made after the fire to do something to honor the people who lost their lives. In this series, “Catastrophe”, Gill Kernick, and journalist Matthew Price examine how our established ways of thinking and working contribute to catastrophes. They examine previous disasters and explore how and why we rarely learn from them. They conclude that, if we are to prevent future catastrophes, we need to tear up established ways of doing things and start along a new road.
Listen to the six-part Catastrophe podcast.
The podcast is sponsored by JMJ and is a “Mother Come Quickly Production”. It runs alongside the book “Catastrophe and Systemic Change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire and Other Disasters” by Gill Kernick.
About the book
Like other catastrophic events before it and since, the Grenfell tragedy has the power to bring about lasting change. But will it? The historical evidence is weighed against lessons being learned in a meaningful or enduring way. In an attempt to understand why, despite enormous efforts, we persistently fail to learn from catastrophic events, Gill Kernick uses the details of the Grenfell fire as a case study to consider two questions:
The book offers an accessible model for systemic change, not as a definitive solution but rather as a framework to evoke reflection, enquiry and proper debate.
Jeff Williams, CEO at JMJ Associates said, “Four years on from Grenfell, Gill Kernick’s book reveals the uncomfortable truth about the multitude of systemic failures which led to this predictable and preventable tragedy. This thought-provoking and important book is essential reading for anyone interested in change management, leadership, policymaking, law, housing, construction and public safety.”
Catastrophe and Systematic Change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower and Other Disasters, can be purchased via major bookstores, or directly from the London Publishing Company. More details can be found on Gill Kernick’s website. To speak to Gill Kernick, or arrange an interview, contact her via her website, or email Gill here.
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