Former ASSE President Trish Ennis, M.S., CSP, ARM, CRIS, is presenting the pre-conference seminar, “Strategic Thinking for Excellence in Safety,” at Safety 2017 this year.
As the title of Ennis’s seminar indicates, strategic thinking is vital in safety today. However, challenges can come when trying to get executive support. “When we talk about strategic thinking we are talking about looking at the overall context of the organization and identifying the initiatives you are trying to implement that are in line with the goals of the organization,” says Ennis. “You may want to look at the strategic plan, vision, values and goals of the organization and see if you are pulling your initiatives in the right direction. If you understand that, the financials and some of the challenges, that will make you more successful when you implement your programs and policies.”
Additionally, Ennis says that applying strategic thinking can be a challenge with employees. “People confuse strategic thinking with strategic planning. When I think of strategic thinking I think that it is looking at all different ways of approaching a problem,” she says. “It is applying a little bit of creative thinking, it is applying some strategy, some planning and working in groups.” When trying to get employees to buy in to strategic thinking, showing the value is important. “You have to understand what is the reality of the employees, and what motivates them, what do you need to give them so that they feel like it is a value proposition,” she says. Learn more about Ennis's seminar here.
Trish Ennis, M.S., CSP, ARM, CRIS, is a senior loss control consultant for Holmes Murphy in Denver, CO. She served 10 years on ASSE’s board of directors as Region II vice president, vice president of the Council on Professional Development and the 100th Society President in 2014-15. She holds an M.S. in Organization Leadership from Regis University, and a B.S. from Evergreen State College.