As I pondered my first message as ASSP President, as well as my goal for these monthly messages throughout the next year, I reflected on Steven Covey’s well-known counsel to “begin with the end in mind.” I also thought about an approach that I have incorporated into my personal leadership style—clearly defining the purpose or objective of an activity.
Certainly, I want to discuss trends and developments in the safety profession and highlight key Society activities and strategic initiatives. And I want to share my perspectives as your elected president.
But I also want these messages to serve as a call to action to you to get more involved in ASSP. As a member-focused organization, we need your ideas and contributions to advance our profession, improve our Society and elevate the practice of safety. We need each of you.
In all of my volunteer leadership roles with ASSP, I have focused on ensuring that our members understand how to be successful in their ASSP endeavors. These endeavors may range from taking continuing education courses to advance their knowledge, skills and abilities, to submitting a conference speaking proposal or writing an article or book; from learning what is required to be a volunteer leader in a member community to using the tools we provide to help members support ASSP’s strategic initiatives in that community. If you are not sure how to get involved, visit our Get Involved web page or ask one of our many dedicated volunteer leaders.
As our organization continues to grow and improve, we are in a great position to move ASSP forward. We are dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive profession and organization. We are constantly scanning the environment in which we operate so we can anticipate and respond to changes. Most importantly, we are committed to ensuring that your member experience is positive.
While a new president takes the helm of ASSP each year, our four strategic pillars—education, standards, member communities and advocacy—are our unwavering guideposts. Within these areas, I will focus in the coming year on a few key areas including risk management, value of the profession and workplace violence prevention.
In each of these areas, we can help companies better understand that safe environments not only protect workers but also help increase productivity, boost corporate reputation and improve the bottom line. As our profession continues to evolve, we must understand risk and its impact on organizational success. We are problem solvers first and foremost, and must seek out more opportunities to demonstrate to our employers the value we can deliver through those skills.
We must also recognize that risk management is more than risk assessment. This involves understanding the variety of risk controls that are available to help companies take on new endeavors in the safest, most efficient way.
In addition, we know that focusing on risk rather than on compliance can help our corporate leaders recognize how our initiatives reduce turnover, improve productivity and positively affect financial operations. And when we use our expertise to help our employers address known risks such as workplace violence, we can improve safety in every workplace and across all worker populations.
I am excited and honored that you elected me to lead this incredible organization of nearly 39,000 members. ASSP has been a great influence in my career as a safety professional. Through ASSP I have made lifelong friends and I have learned so much from so many of you over the years. I appreciate being able to reach out when new situations arise or to learn new ways of addressing common problems. Your knowledge and commitment to OSH, this organization and our profession is truly remarkable.
I look forward to working with you this year as we continue our journey as a global safety leader, advancing this great profession and making a difference in people’s lives.