In Mind Your Own Business: what your MBA should have taught you about workplace health & safety, Dame Judith Hackitt and I lamented the lack of safety in modern MBA programmes and urged business leaders to think differently. Here, safety professionals Waddah S Ghanem Al Hashmi and Rob Cooling approach things from the opposite perspective by recognising the need for OSH practitioners to think and act differently to bridge the gap between business leaders and safety.
The book’s ten steps reflect the critical components of a typical MBA programme, from strategy and leadership to marketing and brand management, and from human resources to organisational behaviour. The focus is heavy on interpersonal skills – rightly so – as it explains how to tactically and strategically blend technical knowledge with social skill, which is important when positioning safety at the heart of an organisation.
The book features a useful “transformational model” which sets out a trio of themes (“organisational factors”, “intrinsic factors” and “high-level strategic factors”) considered essential to understanding the world of business and influencing leaders.
The intersection of these three themes – the book’s crux – underlines the need for practitioners to be: strategic – crafting a vision and aligning safety with the general business direction and creating an approach to which stakeholders can understand and commit; cross-functional – increasing understanding of business functionality, ways of working and developing return on investment; and distinctive – using emotional intelligence to foster a vibrancy and appeal to which people can relate and with which they want to engage.
Learned well and used wisely, these key skills will not only help practitioners understand the language of business but will build their credibility as leaders with significant influence.
If you’re interested in developing your soft skills set, building your professional credibility, having more influence, boosting your career prospects, or looking to transition from a technical discipline to management and leadership, this book could be a terrific tool for you. Its concise chapters make it easy to pick up, read and put down while you try the new skills. In effect, you will have your own MBA classroom in your pocket. Highly recommended.
Routledge | routledge.com
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