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Fewer than 30 percent of ASSE's members today engage with their local chapters even once per year, and most members pay additional dues so they can belong to a common interest group or practice specialty.

Worrying what North Korea's young leader really has in mind, as I expect many of you are, I instead want to begin this month's column with a question: What have you and your enterprise done to prepare for the new world?

I'll mention two examples. ASSE -- I hope to see many of you during this month's conference in Las Vegas, by the way -- is not the association you once knew. Both 2012 ASSE President Richard A. Pollock, CSP, and PepsiCo's chairman and CEO, Indra K. Nooyi, are focused on the fast-changing present.

Pollock's recent columns in Professional Safety explain why the society is shifting to a "flatter, more strategic" board of directors in response to dramatic changes in its members' demographics and in how they engage with the society, their work responsibilities, and how they network and access technical education. For example, fewer than 30 percent of members today engage with their local chapters even once per year, and most members pay additional dues so they can belong to a common interest group or practice specialty, he points out.

You can learn more about the society's board restructuring at http://restructure2013.asse.org.

Nooyi's letter to PepsiCo shareholders in the company's 2012 annual report explains how it has adopted a globally integrated operating model and grown its market share amid rapidly changing consumer preferences around the world that challenge the world's second-largest food and beverage company, which had 278,000 full- and part-time employees at the year's end. "In emerging and developing markets, the growth of organized modern trade is beginning to slowly replace traditional mom and pop stores, and in developed markets, new discount channels like hard discounters and dollar stores are rapidly growing. Additionally, online retailing is beginning to make inroads into our categories while social media amplifies positive messages and rumors in the blink of an eye," she writes. PepsiCo's report says 22 of its brands generated at least $1 billion in sales last year and 35 percent of its net revenue came from emerging and developing markets. Sustainability and nutritional products that meet the highest global safety standards are key to its performance; the company's lost-time jury rate declined by 32 percent in 2012 from the year before, Nooyi reports.

I like what Nooyi says in her conclusion: "I believe we are very well positioned to run a great race, in support of our shareholders today and for the next generation." Can you and I say the same?

This article originally appeared in the June 2013 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

About the Author

Jerry Laws is Editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine, which is owned by 1105 Media Inc.

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