Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Global Plan: Looking to the Future

Through its global expansion plan, ASSE is expanding its influence in the international community, enhancing the overall value of the Society and growing our membership.

Globalization is a term we hear constantly, often in reference to the economy, business operations and communications. I’ve heard many different definitions for the term, but one that strikes a chord with me comes from James Mittelman, a professor of international affairs at American University and the author of several books on globalization. He defines globalization as “an increase in interconnections, or interdependence, a rise in international flows . . . such that the world is, in some respects, becoming a single place.”

Consider for just a moment what that definition means to you as an SH&E professional. Global companies are changing rapidly through acquisitions, organic growth and divestiture. The global economy and related trends are transforming how SH&E professionals must prepare, whether we are employed by large corporations, work for smaller companies or are self-em­ployed. We must develop new competencies and we must seek these new interconnections in order to exceed expectations in managing safety and health risks for global organizations.

As many of you know, ASSE’s vision is to “be a global champion of the SH&E professional, a global leader of the profession and a premier resource for those engaged in protecting people, property and the environment.” This strategic vision demonstrates the Society’s commitment to playing a vital role in the international SH&E community.

As part of that vision, ASSE has developed a global strategic initiative. Originally known as the global growth plan, this initiative is now often referred to as the global expansion plan. We believe this name better reflects our primary objective, namely to expand ASSE’s influence as a global leader in the SH&E profession. Under this initiative, ASSE has established several key objectives:
•Provide educational and networking opportunities to improve the professional proficiency for those engaged globally in protecting people, property and the environment.
•Provide new and improved products and increase informational resources to support the knowledge and professional efforts for those engaged globally in the SH&E function.
•Advance the reputation of ASSE as a global leader and resource for SH&E professionals.
•Increase the development of partnerships with organizations outside the U.S. that have a similar interest in the SH&E profession to help advance the Society’s goals.
•Increase ASSE membership by expanding our resources and opportunities to position the Society as a trusted leader of the profession.

Through this initiative, ASSE is expanding its influence in the international SH&E community, increasing the use of ASSE products and services around the world, enhancing the overall value of the Society and, ultimately, growing our membership across the globe. Currently, ASSE has five chapters organized outside the U.S. and more than 1,700 members residing outside the U.S. representing 65 countries. By understanding the needs of our global customers and potential customers, and with proper planning and execution, ASSE has a tremendous opportunity to grow these numbers.

ASSE is actively pursuing several activities to support the global expansion plan, including the People to People delegation to China later this year. Members of this delegation will seek to develop professional relationships that will help improve workplace processes and reduce the number of injuries, illnesses and fatalities in both countries.

This global initiative meshes well with ASSE’s current strategic goals and will help the Society continue to develop and deliver high-quality services and benefits to all members and customers. In conjunction with the value of profession and body of knowledge initiatives and with support from each ASSE council, this initiative will add to our body of knowledge and bring new perspectives to our vision.

I want to hear your thoughts on the global expansion plan. Please post your comments on my President’s Blog at Thanks for your active engagement in ASSE and for your many efforts to advance the SH&E profession.