Global Damage Avoidance Symposium: Adding “Perspective” to your Problem-Solving Skills

As children, our first exposure to education is from our parents. They teach us the basics – don’t stick a knife in the light socket, look both ways when you cross the street, don’t take candy from strangers, and many more safety concepts. As we grow older, we find that our education is enhanced by many other outside influences. Teachers add to our education along with coaches, extended family,  neighbors and even our peers. As we approach adulthood, we find that these differing perspectives allow us to make intelligent, informed decisions about how we proceed with our lives and our careers.

Most of us started our career in a similar manner to which we began life. As a newly-hired member of
the company we joined, we first learn from our supervisors and managers. We become engaged with the company’s vision and we learn to support its values and absorb its culture. Later, as we became more comfortable in our role, we expanded it to include industry colleagues and, perhaps, looked for education from subject matter experts who had th  experience we desired to become better at what we do. In time, as we became experts at our roles, we started to realize that in addition to the knowledge and experience we have, we’re still missing a vital piece – perspective.

The more we are able to see a given situation from multiple viewpoints, the greater is our ability to apply a broad perspective when working on a solution for any given problem. As our world grows smaller due to our ever-increasing ability to communicate on a global level, the impact of our mistakes (and the solutions we apply to them) increases as well.

That is the driving force behind the creation of the new Global Damage Avoidance Symposium track at
the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo. With educational sessions presented by inter-national attendees, developed under the influence of their local cultures, we are able to take a fresh look at old issues and see potential solutions that would not otherwise have occurred to us.

Many of our international attendees have seen the value of this worldview and have taken advantage of it by participating in the annual International One Call Tour that follows the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo. In 2017, participants will have a virtual tour of Alberta One-Call and one other U.S. call center from a classroom at Rosen Shingle Creek on Friday, March 15. On Monday, March 20, they will visit with Misty Wise and her team at South Carolina 811, and on Tuesday, March 21, they will join Louis Panzer and his team at North Carolina 811. All international participants are welcome to participate in this tour. Contact Michele@emailir.com for more details.

Many international participants at the CGA 811 Excavation Safety Conference & Expo will choose to
follow this symposium track because of its global flavor, but I encourage U.S. participants to consider
checking out one or more of the sessions offered in the global track as well to add that vital, but elusive, skill “perspective” to their personal arsenal of problem-solving tools.

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