It’s funny how much your perspective changes when your role changes. After attending the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) conference for years, I became chairman of the event this year. I typically went with an agenda full of presentations to give and attend, client meetings, and time to spend in LJB’s expo hall booth. While I certainly had my fair share of responsibilities this year, I was able to look at the event from a much broader perspective. With this new viewpoint, I came away with three main lessons learned.
1. People are genuinely nice, gracious and motivated to excel. I encountered many great people, who are working hard to improve safety for their organizations and the industry at large. It makes me feel good to know that so many people share a genuine focus on reducing risk.
2. A good conference general session is extremely valuable. It seems like many people downplay the importance of general sessions in comparison to technical sessions. But, the skills discussed in general sessions provide you with tools to make you more effective and to motivate you to succeed. Said another way, these sessions help you better translate and apply the information learned in technical sessions.
3. What happened in Denver, should NOT stay in Denver. During the conference, I witnessed and participated in some great discussions about improving worker safety. But, if those ideas, strategies and plans never make it back to your organization for discussion or implementation, they are wasted. I hope you are already applying some of what you learned at ASSE 2012. If not, it’s never too late.
These are just a few of the things I learned this year. What was your most important takeaway from the event?
I was honored to chair the event this year, and I’m thrilled to reprise my role again next year. I hope to see you at ASSE 2013 in Las Vegas.