I graduated with an MSc in psychology in Poland. I was fascinated by culture change and wanted to make a meaningful difference in this area. I wanted to become an expert, and I knew that an MSc degree was not enough.
I found a professional doctorate program in the UK focused on the practical implementation of modern safety science. I was debating with myself if I should go. My English language wasn’t very good and the prospect of leaving my job and family behind to live in another country was a scary outlook. After long deliberations, I decided to go.
I graduated with a practitioner doctorate degree, but my thinking, language, and practice were dominated by academic style. This had many advantages but also did not resonate with practitioners.
I completed a popular safety qualification and noticed a huge gap between what I learned as part of my Ph.D. and in this course. With a background in psychology, many of the popular risk management practices did not make sense to me. I felt these popular tools were missing a big part of what makes the work safe.
Throughout my career, I’ve seen repeat and surprise accidents, the investigation findings completely missing the point, the inability of corrective actions to make any meaningful improvement, and a huge misunderstanding of how human and organizational behaviour works.
After 2 years of work at a large power station in the UK, I started a new role at bp. Although I could offer many scientific tools, what I had to offer didn’t quite resonate with the leadership. They wanted simplicity, not academic research complexity.
My approach was not working. In just two years, I almost lost my job three times. All this was happening while I was getting married. Due to the uncertainty, I lost my house and went through acute stress episodes.
I’ve met my mentor who was supportive, listening and guiding me through this difficult time.
I decided to spend much more time with people on the frontline and find ways to turn the science into practice.
The more time I spent in operations, the more I learned how to apply science without using scientific jargon. I started receiving positive feedback such as “Marcin, people are raving about your work“.
After a few challenging years, I was able to operationalize science in a way that made a real difference and won multiple industry awards.
I now had a unique combination of scientific background combined with a proven practical application and experience in the frontline and headquarters.
I’ve developed practical, scalable solutions that help to modernize safety and made it available through various industry bodies.
I chair four most-prestigious Human Factors Groups in the industry, I write industry guidance, I’m invited to deliver keynote speeches to thousands of employees, I authored the majority of practical tools and templates available in the industry, and implement cutting-edge solutions at scale to transform corporate cultures.