Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 8 No. 11                                                                          November-December 2016

In This Issue
Featured Video
Blog Highlights
The Leadership Challenge
Consulting Transitions
Featured Article
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner
Join My Mailing List
Featured Video
Multi-agency Coordination
Multi-agency Coordination

Multi-agency coordination under MACS is an area that often proves confusing to many responders, particularly the relationship between the incident command post and the emergency operations center. Unfortunately, FEMA seems to have retired IS 701.a NIMS Multi-Agency Coordination System though much of the course material is still available with a little digging on their site. This companion video to the course summarizes the various components of MACS and how they integrate with one another. It's a useful review for experienced emergency managers and a good training tool for new EOC participants.
Blog Highlights

Canton blog masthead
Visit My Blog

The following are excerpts from my blog
Canton on Emergency Management. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.  
11-11-2016 17:31:24 PM

A soldier's oath is first and foremost to the Constitution, not to President, something our new government would do well to remember....»


10-30-2016 17:23:44 PM

One of my pet peeves with emergency planning is the over-reliance we place on the one-size-fits none guidance we receive from the Federal government....»

Visit my blog 


If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.

EM Blog Masthead

Visit My Blog

The following are excerpts from my blog, Managing Crisis, published by Emergency Management Magazine. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.

In an interview for an article in Security Management magazine titled Bringing Clarity to Chaos, by Mark Tarallo, former FEMA chief innovation advisor Desi Martel-Anderson offers a three-step model for real time problem solving in a crisis....» 

Visit my blog

If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.
The Leadership Challenge
What Is The Leadership Challenge?

Is leadership a learned behavior or an innate personality trait? While there are certainly naturally charismatic individuals who are considered "born leaders", leadership is a measurable set of behaviors that can be learned and taught. This is the conclusion arrived at by researchers Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner after years of rigorous research. Starting in 1982, Kouzes and Posner set out to understand what happened when leaders performed at their personal best. They conducted hundreds of interviews and reviewed hundreds of cases studies and survey questionnaires. What emerged were five fundamental practices common to extraordinary leadership achievements:
  1. Model the Way
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision
  3. Challenge the Process
  4. Enable Others to Act
  5. Encourage the Heart
The Leadership Challenge begins with a 360-degree assessment of thirty leadership behaviors associated with the five practices, the Leadership Practices Inventory. The results are used to identify opportunities for improving as a leader by increasing the frequency of specific behaviors. Based on over thirty years of research, the Leadership Challenge is an effective and practical tool for leadership development.
To find out more about the  Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership , consider taking  The Leadership Challenge . Just click on the icon below for more information:
Click here to take The Leadership Challenge
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
by James M. Kouzes  & Barry Posner 
The Leadership Challenge is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. www.leadershipchallenge.com 
Consulting Transitions
Free Resource Guide for Solo Consultants

For solo consultants, true wealth is discretionary time. Don't waste yours on simple tasks that can be handled by technology. This free resource guide reveals the four essential online tools I use to manage my solo consulting practice and save hours of valuable time. And the best part is - they're free!

Interested in exploring the world of consulting? My new membership site might be just the resource you need to get started. You'll have access to blogs designed to answer very specific questions, a resource library of templates and articles, the opportunity to network with peers, and discounts on coaching and training programs. Download the free guide or click on the logo above to go straight to the site.

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Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the Holiday Edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

As someone with an interest in history, I always find holiday traditions fascinating. Many of the things we take for granted such as Christmas trees and gift giving are actually fairly recent traditions. At the same time, the tradition of celebrating the harvest as we do at Thanksgiving or holding a feast at the start of winter date back millennia . I think it significant that many religions hold major celebrations at this time of year. It is a reminder that there is more that unites us than divides us.

We end this year on a note of uncertainty. Here in the United States we are about to change Presidents which for us in emergency management will mean a change in leadership at FEMA and DHS and concurrent shifts in policy and guidance. This is not unusual - it happens every time the Presidency changes. What will not change is the need for us to rise above political bickering and do the best we can for the people we serve.

My family and I wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a prosperous New Year. No matter what the future holds, I am confident that we will face it as we always have: with courage and dedication to those we serve.


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

Think Before Writing Your Plan

Base your plans on strategy not templates

Like many planners, I make frequent use of planning templates. Templates serve a number of purposes. The can increase interoperability through standardization. They can ensure that you don't forget critical elements needed in your plan. They also give provide a draft format so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you write a new plan.

The problem begins, however, when the template becomes the driving force behind your plan. Too many planners use templates or sample plans as the measurement of success.

It's akin to the problem we have with the Incident Command System where too many planners focus on structure rather than the principles behind the structure. Just because your plan matches the template or sample perfectly doesn't mean it will work.



If you are having trouble viewing my featured article, try clicking on the link at the top of the page. You can always find my articles in the white paper section of my blog site, Canton on Emergency Management.

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Professional Development
Keeping Current

A common question I get is, "How do you keep up with everything?" The simple fact is you really can't. One of the interesting things about emergency management is that it is so multi-disciplined that no one can be an expert in everything. To fill the gap, I rely on reading (well, skimming actually) a broad range of experts on various topics. Here are a few that I find useful:

Emergency Management Magazine offers a number of blogs on various topics. My personal favorite is
Disaster Zone by my colleague Eric Holderman but check out the blogs by Rick Wimberly and August Vernon as well - they're worth it.

Jonathan Bernstein - Jonathan is an expert in crisis management with over 30 years of experience. He offers over 400 articles on crisis management issues, a blog, and a newsletter. While not strictly EM related, his material is invaluable when it comes to handling the media and limiting reputational risk.

Exploring Emergency Management and Homeland Security - Tim Reicker has a background that includes work with public agencies, non-profits, and the private sector. His focus is broad ranging and he asks a lot of thought-provoking questions about EM and HS. 

Emergency Manager's Weekly Report - I wish I knew how he does it but Steve Detwiler manages to pull together a weekly newsletter that includes news articles from a variety of sources and resources not readily found elsewhere.

Emergency Management and Safety Solutions - If you've ever had the opportunity to hear Regina Phelps speak or read any of her books, you'll recognize her as an expert on continuity, pandemic planning, and exercise development. She brings an interesting public health perspective to current issues that is unique and useful.

Schneier on Security - To call Bruce Schneier a security technologist is an understatement. His books and blogs address not only the technical aspects of security but give equal weight to human factors. Interested in cybersecurity? He's your man. Some of his stuff is a bit technical but an awful lot is accessible and thought provoking

These are just a few of the resources I use. There are discussion groups on LinkedIn and Facebook that are also worth checking out. The bottom line: look for experts who can fill in your knowledge gaps.
Life Balance
Focusing on Small Wins

One of the things we are told to do during the holiday season is to count our blessings. I have found that this is good advice for emergency managers not only personally but professionally as well.

One of the hallmarks of our discipline is our commitment to continued improvement. We tend to live in the future, seeking to reach goals that we know represent an ideal that we can never achieve. This future focus can sometimes cause hard feelings with the people with whom we work in that it carries an inherent dissatisfaction with the status quo.

The Third Practice of Exemplary Leadership, Challenge the Process, encourages advancement towards goals through a process of small wins. It's like the old recipe for rabbit stew where step one is, "first, catch a rabbit." Keeping our eye on the long range goal is good but we need to be able to recognize the incremental steps needed to achieve it and use them to measure our progress.

So when you have a minute to reflect this holiday season, take a moment to look behind you and see how far you've come. There may still be a lot of ground to cover ahead of you but you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you've accomplished.
From the Bookshelf
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
by Jeffrey Toobin

In this age of concern over international terrorism we often forget that there was a time when our chief concern was domestic terrorism, a time where bombings were so common that they scarcely merited a mention in the media. It was the time of the radical left, of student unrest. of social upheaval.

But even in these troubled times, the actions of the Symbionese Liberation Army were unique, encompassing murder, bank robberies, and political kidnapping. It is the latter, the kidnapping of Patricia Hearst that would bring them to the world's attention.

How did a group of self-styled revolutionaries with no real strategy or long range goals cause such an upheaval? In this new study on the kidnapping, author Jeffry Toobin looks closely at the tactics and motivations of the group, placing them in the context of the times and demonstrating how their unique ability to manipulate the media changed political activism forever.

But ultimately, this is the story of Patricia Hearst. Was she a victim suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" or an opportunist who made calculated choices? Toobin offers some interesting perspectives on the question.

Whether you have an interest in the inner workings of terrorist cells or are just curious about a time of domestic terrorism, Toobin's book is worth reading. Far from an academic text, the book reads like a novel - exciting, well researched, and informative. It would make a great stocking stuffer this holiday. 

  ________________ ____________________________

Interested in more books on emergency management and related topics?

Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs
by Lucien G. Canton

Speaker's Corner

Need a speaker for your next conference? I offer keynotes, seminars and workshops.
Why Should You Choose Me As Your Speaker?
Three Reasons Why I'm the Right Speaker for Your Conference 
You can find more details and sample videos on my website or on my SpeakerMatch page.   
Speaking Engagements 

Now taking bookings for 2017

©Lucien G. Canton 2016. All rights reserved.


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ISSN: 2334-590X