Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 10 No. 1                                                                                  January 2018

In This Issue
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
The American Experience: Influenza 1918
The American Experience: Influenza 1918

This PBS documentary covers the impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic on the American public. It does repeat a discredited theory that the flu might have been caused by burning manure but otherwise is a dramatic chronicle of how people and government dealt with the pandemic. 
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.  

As in common in many disasters, the California Legislature is considering legislation to improve perceived problems arising from the recent Wine Country Fires. But will their good intentions be enough to overcome obstacles to improvement?

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.

Over a half century of research shows that people do not panic in a disaster. So why do we keep using public panic as an excuse for failing to provide adequate warning?

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.
Leadership Coaching

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.
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 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.

Visit my blog
Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the January edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

This year marks a milestone of sorts: it's the tenth year of publication for this newsletter. It's surprising how fast the time has gone. Publishing a newsletter is no easy task and every month as my deadline looms, I shake my head and ask, "why?" 

But the answer is easy. I know from emails and comments at conferences that many people read and enjoy Emergency Management Solutions. Not everyone agrees with what I write but as long as I've stimulated thought and discussion, I'm content.

Thank you for being a loyal reader. As long as you keep reading, I'll do my best to keep writing!


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

This year is the tenth year of publication for
Emergency Management Solutions. I thought it might be of interest to revisit my premier issue. As you'll see, there have been quite a few changes!

_ ________________________________________________

Pandemic Flu

It's not over 'til it's over!

My colleague Jim Rush recently remarked on the IAEM list that we, like the Chevrolet Power Glide of the 60's with its high and low gear, seem to have only two mental gears these days: hysteria and complacency. While "hysteria" might be putting things a bit strong when we consider the past few weeks of the influenza pandemic, Jim's certainly right that if it isn't immediate, in-your-face news we have a tendency to ignore potential problems. It's what I call the "flavor of the month" syndrome - letting the current problem obscure everything else that's going on around us.


_______________________ ________

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.

  Visit my blog
Professional Development
Skill Sets or Experience?

A member of my staff once came to me to express concern over her assignment to serve as exercise director for our annual EOC exercise. Since here responsibilities focused on community organizing, she did not feel she had sufficient experience to coordinate the exercise.

As we discussed her concerns, it was clear that she was worried that her background in working with non-governmental agencies and the public had not prepared her for developing a public-sector exercise. I asked her to describe the tasks she would need to perform, and she went into detail about tasks such as injects and exercise flow. I stopped her and asked her to consider the basics of what she had to do. We identified three main tasks:
  1. Recruit an exercise design team
  2. Coordinate planning meetings
  3. Facilitate the exercise based on the results of the planning meetings
I asked her how these tasks were different from what she did on a regular basis in her work with non-governmental agencies and saw the lights come on as she realized there were no differences. She already had the skills she needed to coordinate the exercise; all she needed was to mine the experience of her team. She went on to develop a very effective exercise.

We place a premium on experience and rightly so. However, we sometimes forget that skill sets are transferable, and a lack of experience does not mean that someone can't get the job done. In fact, it can often introduce a fresh perspective into problem solving by helping to avoid "group think".

Don't get drawn into the either-or debate about skill sets versus experience. Instead, make sure that what passes for experience (e.g. we've always done it that way!) is valid and consider whether allowing someone the opportunity to apply their skills to a new problem will help overall team development.
Life Balance
Start Your Day Right

Years ago, when I was training security officers, one of the sessions was a multi-media presentation about how a brief encounter can affect one's day. The protagonist of the presentation was having one of those mornings when nothing goes right: it's raining, traffic is slow, he drops his clean laundry in a puddle, gets a ticket; you name it, it happened. As he walks into his place of work, the security officer greets him, thanks him when he shows his identification, and wishes him a good day. The protagonist is so taken aback that he responds by returning the greeting and immediately feels better about himself.

Okay, maybe I don't believe it either. But the point was that a single encounter can affect someone's attitude towards the rest of the day. A smile or greeting can make a difference.

How we start our day is important. It puts you in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day. Mine usually begins with a long walk or run with my dog followed by a brief visit with our friends at the dog park. I use my walk to help organize my thoughts for the day's projects and being able to chat with people outside my profession each day is both stimulating and relaxing. For other friends, it's that first cup of coffee or a smile from their spouse.

The opposite is also true. Worrying about problems or work issues rather than devising solutions to them can put you in a negative frame of mind. News broadcasts these days can also add to morning depression, as can contact with negative people.

Chances are your day is going to be tough no matter what you do. But you can at least give yourself a fighting chance by starting it in a positive manner.
From the Bookshelf
Flu: The Story Of The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It
By Gina Kolata

Although overshadowed by other pandemics, the influenza pandemic of 1918 was the most lethal in history, with one estimate of deaths at 100 million worldwide. But where did it come from? Why was it so lethal? Most importantly, will it reoccur?

The title of this book is a bit misleading in that only one chapter deals with the pandemic and is largely anecdotal. However. Kolata is more interested in how the fear of a recurrence of the 1918 pandemic  influenced future research and public health decisions, not always for the better. For example, she devotes two chapters to the decision in 1976 to conduct a mass immunization program for swine flu on slim evidence and the resulting public relations debacle. 

While the book is a bit dated (it was published in 1999), it is fascinating and can provide material for any number of case studies and public health exercises.


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 2018!

©Lucien G. Canton 2018. All rights reserved.


You may reprint and excerpt this newsletter provided that you include my copyright, the source,
the author, and "reprinted with permission."

ISSN: 2334-590X