How can safety professionals navigate the boardroom to promote our key safety objectives? This position paper is based on the author's experiences, with case studies, to identify real-life conditions and strategies that resulted in executive support, as well as examples of failed attempts to gain the needed support to launch new initiatives.
Too often, safety professionals do not get the support (financial or otherwise) needed to promote the profession. My experience has been that there is limited business acumen when presenting our recommendations to non safety executives. The perception of safety as a back room resource and as an expense driver impedes growth and limits our opportunities to present our case at the executive level. The objective is to modify our approach so we can be viewed like other revenue-generating business units— sales, marketing, or operations.
Following is an overview of several critical elements that all safety professionals should be aware of to ensure our messages, and desired results, are realized. Besides the basics of the environment, we will cover several case studies that demonstrate the impact of preparation, analysis, and presentation skills and how it helps WIN or LOSE the deals.