Wilful Blindness – How Ordinary People Let Bad Things Happen
What you'll learn
- To understand the role of wilful blindness in our everyday lives, the organisations we work in and depend on, and in wider society.
- Learn how the presence of wilful blindness enables individuals, groups, communities, and organisations to preserve their identity.
- Recognise the significant impact wilful blindness has and identify the conditions that amplify its harmful effects.
- How to interpret organisational cultures and understand their role in reinforcing the presence and impact of wilful blindness.
- Increased awareness of wilful blindness, how to handle the challenges it creates, and know when and how to display courage.
- A desire to learn and understand what drives your own and others actions, biases, and responses.
- A passion for organisations and wider society to become more humane and act with greater integrity.
- An acceptance that change starts within each of us, and a willingness to lead beyond your authority.
- A desire to be part of creating a more thoughtful, aware, and compassionate world.
The cultures of conformity that pervade our social groups, schools, and workplaces, our desires to succeed and survive, our primal need to belong, and the constant overloading of our attention is disconnecting us from our potential, stripping us and the organizations we work in, of our ability to think and act with humanity and integrity. Police Forces, Car Manufacturers, Charities, Banks, and Healthcare, no person or organisation is immune to the onset of wilful blindness and the ultimately destructive impact it is having on us all.
Real-life is the messy space that exists between the unreality of the adverts, our life plans, our neat organization charts, mission statements, vision & values posters, and seven-point plans for change. It is the space in which reality occurs, where our true values are exposed. Who hasn't faced the moral dilemma of choosing between turning a blind eye to something they might think is wrong or being a bit brave, asking the awkward questions, speaking up, stepping in, standing out, and making themselves unpopular by being true to their better self and their conscience?
This unique course reveals the enormous impact wilful blindness has on all our lives. You will learn about it firsthand from Tom Bell, an author, speaker, ethics consultant, justice campaigner, and whistleblower. You will begin to understand how prevalent wilful blindness is, how it comes to be, and how you can identify and address the challenges it creates. Tom has spent many years seeking justice for his sister Alison. As your guide on this journey, he has a wealth of lived experience as well as professional expertise and insight gained at all levels in public, private, and voluntary organizations. You will gain knowledge, practical tools, and techniques, to identify and address wilful blindness. You will start to understand the inbuilt biases that drive our behaviors in the groups we belong to. And you will begin to get comfortable with your own and others' fallibility.
Who this course is for:
- The principles behind this course are universally applicable. It is ideally suited for people working in Public Services, Large Companies, and Voluntary Organizations.
- Staff, managers, directors, students, safeguarding champions, freedom-to-speak-up-guardians, aspiring leaders who want to create safer more productive cultures in their organisations.
- People who want to create more productive organisational cultures that are better for their employees and service users.
- People from all walks of life and working at all levels who want to understand and address wilful blindness in themselves, their communities, and the organizations they work in.
I am an author, speaker, consultant, and long time justice campaigner. A former business advisor and Public Service (NHS) manager turned Whistleblower. I have an MBA and am the founding director of HIPSS, Humanity & Integrity in Public Sector Services. I have fought a highly emotional battle over two decades to obtain justice for my sister Alison who took her own life after being abused in the care of a mental health hospital.
I have a truly unique blend of real-life experiences and academic knowledge which give me an unrivalled and profoundly practical understanding of what drives poor ethical behaviour in individuals and organisations. I have seen first-hand the impact of wilful blindness on victims who are harmed, their families, and on the disempowered employees unable to voice their concerns and display their humanity.
I have a lived understanding of the massive personal, emotional and financial costs to all those affected by wilful blindness and ethical fading. I have looked over the edge of the precipice. Having sacrificed a career in Public Service for speaking truth to power, I also know the high price Whistleblowers can pay for displaying honesty and integrity. And though I have many deep scars from my experiences, I try to maintain a humane and compassionate perspective on this complex and important aspect of personal and organisational behaviour. I believe forgiveness can sit next to accountability. We are all only human after all.