Stretching Our Perspective Takes Career Development to Another Level

Today is the first day of FMI’s 2016 Asset Protection Conference in Tucson, AZ! The agenda kicked off at 7:00 a.m. with a golf tournament at the Westin La Paloma Golf Course. First-time conference attendees and exhibitors will benefit from the orientation session at 4:15 p.m., which is sponsored by the FMI Asset Protection Council and Risk and Safety Council. In addition, all attendees are encouraged to attend tonight’s welcome reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. for refreshments and networking opportunities.

Over the next few days, the conference’s comprehensive education program will cover a wide range of topics that are highly relevant for today’s food retail professionals, including personal and professional development, crisis and risk management, cyber security, predictive analytics, emerging trends and more. The keynotes and breakout sessions will be supplemented by a vendor showcase that will be open on Tuesday and Wednesday. Check out FMI’s conference agenda for more information on programming for the 2016 event, and read on to learn more about the leadership qualities needed by asset protection professionals in the food retail industry.

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In order to maximize professional potential, it is essential to maintain superior levels of professional competence by continually developing our skills, abilities, and base of knowledge. It’s our responsibility to own and manage a career development plan; driven by individual learning and developmental needs and carrying a personal signature for success.

There are many different qualities that go into making someone a good leader. There are tangible and intangible traits that drive performance, provide vision, empower, encourage, serve, and inspire others to follow. And while we may have differing insights into what a leader should be, one enduring quality is the ability to make – and effectively apply – good decisions.

In an industry as dynamic as food retail there is an essential need to be flexible and open-minded. This is especially true in a professional discipline such as loss prevention where the ability to effectively support the changing needs of the retail business relies heavily on our capacity to proactively address unwanted, unplanned, and unpredictable outcomes.

Finding effective solutions to manage, react, and respond to unwanted crisis issues if and when they occur must be accomplished within the framework of the business culture, and in a way that supports our unique brand as well as our customers.

As loss prevention professionals continue to learn and grow, they will pool information from many different sources, drawing from experience, education, training, and personal guidance as we move forward. There are no limits to the range of subjects that can be included in a career development plan, although there are some areas that should most certainly be included:

  • First, develop talents, knowledge, and abilities in your chosen field.
  • Next, broaden your base of expertise to include other areas of retail; providing a greater understanding of the business as a whole to better apply your loss prevention skills, and offering additional career options should the need, desire or opportunity arise.
  • Finally, work to improve or acquire additional non-technical knowledge and skills that can help to prepare you for broader or greater responsibilities when such opportunities present themselves.

FMI Senior Vice President of Industry Relations and Chief Collaboration Officer Mark Baum offered, “A food retail loss prevention professional’s specialized role provides us with perspective on how their specific issues impact the broader challenges of the retailing world, but true understanding is still a product of exposure to additional leadership and management practices. Finding those individuals that can provide guidance in other areas of the retail business is critical to our long term growth as an industry.”

Different perspectives provide us with different opportunities for growth. And while there is tremendous opportunity to learn and grow based on the lessons provided by those around us, there is also great value in stepping outside the box and looking at opportunity through different lenses and perspectives. Baum continued, “We have learned that asset protection professionals seek experiences that not only enhance their skill sets but sharpen their overall understanding and sharpen their outlook on their careers and companies, as well as the larger industry. Moreover, the asset protection conference experience offers a unique opportunity to better shape perspective around environmental factors that challenge practicality during a crisis. Asset protection professionals know all too well that reputation management skills remain critical to building – or rebuilding – a brand.”

This article was originally published in February and was updated March 14, 2016. 

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