Thursday, September 1, 2011

Universal Goals Provide Unified Direction

We start our next century with new strategic goals designed to carry us well into our new century of fulfilling our mission and vision. These goals are statements of what we visualize we will achieve.

GOAL 1: ASSE will be recognized as the thought leader of the profession by initiating new ideas, innovations and solutions to guide SH&E professionals.

GOAL 2: ASSE will define the standards of professional competency, and be the authoritative resource for SH&E professionals seeking training, education and development.

GOAL 3: ASSE will be the recognized source of SH&E knowledge and resources.

GOAL 4: ASSE will be the voice of the SH&E profession.

GOAL 5: ASSE will foster and sus­tain a global community among SH&E professionals.

GOAL 6: ASSE will expand its sphere of influence through diverse and responsible Society growth.

“Thought leader” sums up our first goal. We aim to be recognized as leading the profession by raising issues and stimulating discussion. We envision that ASSE will lead by asking wide-ranging, forward-thinking and thought-provoking questions, and engaging in international discourse.

Through goal two, ASSE will promote the value our profession brings to employers and to our communities. Defining the standards of professional competency is critical to expressing our profession’s value and to protecting our future.

Goal three recognizes the importance of our body of knowledge initiative. Over time, we will establish comprehensive and accessible knowledge tools while still allowing growth and expansion of the definition of knowledge and resources.

Advocacy characterizes goal four. We strive to be the voice of and advocate for the profession in order to increase awareness of and to advance our profession.
Goal five summarizes our desire to meet member needs for networking and a sense of community regardless of where members reside or the branch of the profession in which they practice.
Goal six expresses our desire to grow globally and across all SH&E practices. Diversifying our membership adds richness and depth to our members’ experience and resources.
These are lofty goals and they will be challenging. As we developed these new goals, one member told me he thought they were too high. My response is that striving for anything less would be to strive for mediocrity. Doing so would be a disservice to our profession, our members and the people we protect each day. As Ovid said, “I attempt an arduous task; but there is no worth in that which is not a difficult achievement.”
In the past, you may have seen or heard our councils and committees take ownership of specific Society goals. However, isolating goals and objectives to specific groups, whether in our Society’s strategic planning or within our own organizations, wastes resources through duplicate efforts and lost opportunities.

Our new goals and objectives are universal. They do not belong to any one council or committee, and they are not isolated to those units at the Society level of governance. They belong to us all. We all have a role to play in their achievement. To make the best use of our resources and to accelerate our progress toward achieving our goals and objectives, we will work cooperatively across all segments of our Society and membership. (You can review our goals and objectives at

I challenge each council, committee, region, chapter, section, practice specialty, common interest group and task force to examine their individual strategic plans to determine how their goals and objectives align with the Society’s goals and objectives. How will each of our Society units work in support of our goals? What units do they need to work with in order to better attain their goals and objectives?

And I challenge each of you as individual members to examine your personal strategic plans. We each have a role to play, we each are valuable, in helping ASSE achieve its mission, vision and goals. What will your actions be? How will you support our goals and objectives over the course of the next year, the next 3 years or the next 5 years? How will you be involved? William James advises, “Act as though what you do makes a difference, and it does.” I challenge you all to make a difference.

“Who aims at excellence will be above mediocrity; who aims at mediocrity will be far short of it.” -Burmese saying