Some years ago, as a young engineer promoted into the role of Reliability manager for a large site in a regional country town, I received an email from someone about a meeting about reliability and it was at Qantas at the airport. Not sure I really fully understood what reliability really even meant at the time… so I thought why not attend… if anyone knows something about reliability it must be Qantas as their planes don’t fall out of the sky!
As it happens, this turned out to be a Roundtable meeting and so began my introduction to SIRF Roundtables. Not only did I learn quite a bit about reliability that day, but very importantly I found out I was not alone, there were others like me that were all in the same boat. In a Round table meeting like this, not only did I get the opportunity to hear from someone with quite a bit of expertise on the topic, but also was able to meetup and network with many other folks in similar roles in industry and share knowledge and expertise.
I have attended many Roundtable meetings since. Every company I have worked for has been a member of SIRF. Even while working at different levels in these organisations, I have found these Roundtables invaluable for the benefit they bring in meeting folk to learn and share insights and learnings. I noticed even if people were not in same industry, the problems we faced were often the same and even more amazingly the solutions we were often talking about were just as applicable with a bit of tweaking! For the personal development for the people and teams I managed, I have also found it very useful to have them attend the Roundtable meetings and tap into a network outside their own organisation.
In the safe trusted environment of the SIRF Roundtable meetings, people are able to share the successes and the journey to success but also importantly the pitfalls and errors made along the way and the valuable lessons of the things to avoid. Roundtable meetings also allow a break from the day to day distractions and chance to think deeply about a focused issue – valuable time and space in the modern world that can lead to great outcomes.
The last 6 years I have had the privilege of working for SIRF and had the opportunity to run many Roundtable meetings, I see it now as my chance to give back. Which is at the crux of what these meetings are all about, people generously sharing knowledge and expertise with no expectation of anything in return - but to help each other. Our founders of SIRF defined Roundtable meetings as a ‘meeting of friends’, so rather than 200+ people you might see at a conference, expect these to be a much smaller group working closely together to help each other.
Roundtable meetings are what define SIRF and the great news is even with the confines of covid, SIRF’s Roundtable meetings continue. And while we will eventually return to meeting in person, these have been currently online. Being on-line brings its own benefits of accessibility from where ever you are, and being more accommodating with being shorter day events with short presentations and ability to come and go as you please and as your availability allows. While we don’t meet in person, there are hallmark Roundtable small group discussions held in breakout groups in-between each presentation, allowing folk to meet and network, discuss topics of interest to share knowledge and expertise.
Given how fundamental roundtable meetings are for SIRF and how important they are to our membership, we have committed to quite a few of these this year!
SIRF kicked off the year with the 10th March OERt Safety Roundtable
which included presentations from HabitSafe, Viva Energy, Melbourne Water and Juken NZ who presented on,
- Using Brain Science to minimise Inattention and build a stronger Safety culture
- AERO (Advanced Error Reduction in Organisations) journey and lessons learned.
- Using Technology to improve Safety in the Field
- The Survival of the Nurtured
A very important part of the day was not only the larger group Q&A and discussions but also the more intimate smaller group roundtable discussions that happened via the break out rooms where folks could freely speak about various aspects of the topics to compare notes and share knowledge and experience on the subject.
A very valuable session and People left with Key Take Away's including,
- Understanding conscious and unconscious thoughts to improve safety processes
- Lead rather than react when comes to safety
- Aero gives opportunity to understand and interact on how people operate and think
- Senior leadership is important, more important to get frontline leadership on-board
- Preparedness of pushing through for end outcome, concept traditional to digital applications – launch first to realise benefits
- Have long term focus – nurturing environment for organisation to grow
Our next Roundtable is on 27th May on the topic of
===>> Automation Roundtable
We already folks already booked on from Qenos, South East Water. CSR PGH BRICKS, Alcoa, AGL, Casella Family Brands, Cement Australia, Tronox, Textor Technologies, GlaxoSmithKline, Powerlink, Sunrice, Thales, Orica, Opal, Scott Automation & Robotics, Bega, Arnotts Biscuits, Nufarm and Lochard Energy. Certainly feel free to book on if something of interest.
17th June Condition Monitoring Roundtable
So regardless of you role or what industry you are in, whether it’s for yourself or your team, I’d encourage to join in SIRF’s Roundtable Meetings to learn and share and be part of this meeting of friends working together to help each other.
Hope to see you there! Regards, Alain Le Bon