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Environmental Health and Safety Blog | EHSWire

Best Practices…Are They Yesterday’s News?

Posted by Shivi Kakar

Aug 23, 2010 10:38:34 AM

Barbara Glynn Alves  Oprah calls them the Ah-Ha Moments-- the second you get that one piece of information or insight that connects all the dots.  I recently had an enlightening moment onboard a flight to Mexico. No, nothing life-threatening like engine failure or loss of cabin pressure! Nor did any cabin attendant pull an inflatable slide to escape his dreary existence. But it did involve Mad Men…

The July issue of Delta’s Sky magazine was devoted to the profound change that the advertising world is experiencing.  It was the cover of John Slattery and Christina Hendricks from the hit show that caught my eye, but it was the fantastic reporting and interviews of ad industry movers and shakers that kept me reading. The feature articles were entirely relatable to the change that the environmental, health and safety industry is experiencing as technology puts a quivering arrow through the heart of what has been known as “Industry Best Practices”.

Recently, my colleague Tom Carlson,PE, in an EHSWire post regarding Best Available Technology, posed the question, “Given the availability today, right now, of newer technologies and systems that can easily help reduce the risks from air-borne hazards, shouldn’t these be used on remediation sites to protect workers and the public?”   The Emilcott answer is a resounding YES…of course!  And, until now, our message to stakeholders has been that it’s time to revisit Industry Best Practices for perimeter air monitoring and embrace the newest practices that technology has to offer. It has been a hard sell.

As director of all things sales and marketing at Emilcott, I had been a bit baffled by the resistance to the clear advantages offered by new technologies.  Delta’s Sky gave me the last dot to complete the picture as it explored the evolution of the ad world from the late 1950’s to the present. Decades of advertising best practices centered on the dominant triune media of TV, radio and print have been turned on their proverbial ears (and eyes) by the introduction of cable media and the Internet-driven marketplace.  Madison Avenue, the traditional epicenter of advertising, completely understands the changes and use of the new media outlets. However, the only firms to be successful are those that have been innovative enough to walk their clients through this new territory – most of these firms are far from Madison Avenue and are practicing near technology havens.

This was my Eureka: Our clients understand that change is upon them, but they are afraid. This was most profoundly stated in an interview with Christian Haas, Executive Creative Director with the ad firm Goodby, Silverstein & Partners out of San Francisco, who told Sky, “Best Practices are by definition the antithesis of innovation. And innovation eventually causes discomfort.”  I get it!  Not only do we have to introduce the change in Best Available Technology as changing Industry Best Practices, we also have to tell them how WE will help them make the change.  Wow!

Emilcott is embracing this enlightened sales message whole-heartily so that we can help our clients understand and embrace the NEW Best Practices with the reassurance that the expertise of Emilcott will be with them – for the whole ride. Have you or your clients been reluctant to try new Best Available Technologies in the field because it seems intimidating? What would it take to get you to embrace innovation?

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Topics: Emilcott, General EHS, perimeter air monitoring, best practices, innovation

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