June 13 2022
By: Shawn M. Galloway
What are the most memorable events within your culture that shape your thinking and storytelling? In a recent group text, someone sent a picture (like this one) and other items from the 1980s. I responded with, "5th-grade science class, January 1986, watching the Space Shuttle Challenger launch on the roll-in TV. I've always felt for my teacher. A room was full of students as the explosion occurred. Tearful silence." A friend responded, "Every time I see that picture/card image, that's exactly what I think of! Crazy."
In my life, this is one of those "I remember where I was when…" events that I will never forget that shape why I do what I do in my chosen profession. With people unfamiliar with these events within a society or corporation, as they join, they are passed on through storytelling, eventually generation by generation. If you are new to a group and want to know your team and culture or understand the why behind written and unwritten rules, seek to learn and understand the events that shaped them and what continues to shape the culture today.
Shawn M. Galloway is CEO of the global consultancy ProAct Safety. He is a trusted advisor, professional keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books on safety strategy, culture, leadership, and behavior-based safety. He is a monthly columnist for several magazines and one of the most prolific contributors in the industry, having also authored over 700 podcasts, 200 articles, and 100 videos. Shawn has received awards and recognition for his significant contributions from the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council's Top 40 Rising Stars and Top Ten Speakers, EHS Today Magazine's 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS, ISHN Magazine's POWER 101 - Leaders of the EHS World and their newest list: 50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers and is an Avetta Distinguished Fellow.