Learning Safety from Books and Conferences

July 10 2016
By: Terry L. Mathis

I just returned from ASSE in Atlanta recently and was a bit taken aback by some seasoned safety professionals who commented that they didn't get as much from such conferences or from the books they read as they used to. Quite frankly, neither do I. But I understand the reason for this is not less quality content in the books and conferences. The reason is I have been learning from both sources for years and I already know a lot about the subject. There is not less content in the sources; there is more content in me!

I am thrilled if I attend a talk and get one new idea or perspective. If I get more than one, I think I have hit the jackpot. The same is true of reading books. The more you know, the more new content tends to broaden rather than deepen your knowledge base. So much depends not on how much you know but on how much you can accomplish with what you know. I appreciate those who share their ideas and know that someone there at the conference or holding the book is getting more from it than me. I also know they will see diminishing returns as they progress, but that this is a good thing.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.

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