Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 9 No. 5                                                                                     May 2017

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
The Future of First Response
The Future of First Response

This one of a series of three videos produced by a joint project with Continuum, a global innovation design firm, the Department of Homeland Security, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Project seeks to envision what emergency response might look like in fifteen years if we could leverage existing or projected technology in a coordinated manner. See this month's featured article for more information about this project or visit their website.
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.  

Just like life, disasters can be cyclical with one event sowing the seeds for the next one ...

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.

When a crisis is imminent, the pre-disaster homeless are often neglected.

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 

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.

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Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the May edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

A short while ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with  Kristin Heist, Director of Product Experience for Continuum Innovation regarding her work on the Future of First Response Project. Considering how many of these "imaging the future" projects turn out to have little impact, I was prepared to be skeptical. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a project that has been done right and may well influence how we equip future first responders. I've summarized the project in this month's feature article and included one of the three videos produced by the project as the featured video. I hope you find them useful.


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

The Future of First Response

Designing a vision for the future

  • A battalion chief provides a trapped firefighter with a trail of "breadcrumbs" on her heads-up display that leads to an escape route.
  • Paramedics arriving at the scene of a mass casualty incident place stickers on each victim that share patient vital signs to help speed triage.
  • Police officers chasing an armed suspect use a camera equipped drone to determine the safest way to approach the suspect.
  • Lightweight body armor protects responders against firearms and knives while monitoring the wearer's health status.
  • Lightweight turnout gear changes color when exposed to hazardous materials.

_______________________ ________

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
Over Planning Can Be Fatal 

A friend of mine recently took a trip to Ireland. I'm by nature a planner but this guy makes me look like the most spontaneous person on the planet. He wanted to see "everything" so he carefully researched where he wanted to go, what he wanted to see, and where he was going to stay. His trip was planned not just down to the day but, in some cases, to the hour.
When he got back, I asked how things had gone. He was pretty pleased with his trip but was sorry he didn't have more time in some places and the ability to change plans to accommodate unexpected opportunities. Next time he's thinking of leaving every third day free.

Over planning your vacation can have consequences but they are generally just lost opportunities or maybe some icy looks from your spouse. Not so in emergency planning. In Managing the Unexpected, researchers Weick and Sutcliffe caution that over planning can result in expectations that the crisis will unfold as expected in the plan. If a crisis seems to match the assumptions in the plan, the psychological process of normalization can cause us to see what we expect to see and not necessarily what is occurring. We can miss indicators that the crisis unfolding in an unexpected way.

Planning is always a balancing act. There are certainly things that lend themselves well to procedural checklists and flow diagrams. These tend to be related to response-based needs and they are useful. But we need to remember that plans are tool boxes not guidebooks. This is the reason that flexibility is one of the Principles of Emergency Management. We need to be creative in our problem solving. Planning is good, but over planning can lead to failure.

Professional Development Opportunities

IAEM Scholarship Program Application Period Open
The IAEM Scholarship Program Application Period is open until June 30, 2017, 11:59 p.m. The program provides scholarships through a competitive process to full-time students working on degrees in emergency management, disaster management, or closely related fields of study. Awardees are selected based on applications from undergraduate and graduate students. To be considered for an award in this year's program, download the appropriate (graduate or undergraduate) application form the IAEM website at www.iaem.com/scholarships and return it with all required materials to IAEM by the June 30 deadline.

N ovember 10-15, 2017
Long Beach, California
The goal of the IAEM Annual Conference is to improve your knowledge, competency level and collaborative skills. IAEM attracts high-profile speakers to address current topics and practical solutions. The conference draws exhibitors who are the top suppliers to the fields of disaster preparedness and homeland security.
Life Balance
Is "I'm sorry" Enough?

Why is it so hard to say you're sorry? According to psychologist Harriet Lerner, author of Why Won't You Apologize? we are naturally defensive and have a natural impulse to shift blame. This can lead to apologies that are half-hearted or false. Unfortunately, we can quickly detect a false apology and such an apology can make matters even worse. According to Lerner, "When they're done well, an apology is deeply healing...when an apology is absent or done poorly, it puts a crack in the very foundation of a relationship, or it can even end it."

What's a false apology? It's one where you deflect responsibility from yourself. For example, the commonly used phrase "I'm sorry you feel that way," deflects blame back on the person injured and avoids taking responsibility for the actions that led to the need for an apology. The same thing happens when you say something like, "I'm sorry that you were upset when I contradicted you at that staff meeting." The apology focuses on the person feeling upset, not on your actions. Consider how much stronger the apology is when you accept responsibility by saying, "I'm sorry I contradicted you at the meeting. I was wrong to do that. It won't happen again."

Lerner also cautions against adding qualifiers, such as, "I'm sorry I let you down but..." Using "but" undermines your sincerity because it always is followed by an attempt to deflect responsibility through criticism, rationalization, or excuse.
If you need to make an apology, apologize by accepting responsibility for your actions, without qualifiers. It's both an indicator of your strength of character and an example to those who work with you. Lerner has this to say about a sincere apology, "...it's really the greatest gift we can give to another person."
From the Bookshelf

The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906: How San Francisco Nearly Destroyed Itself
by Philip L. Fradkin

There are many books about the San Francisco earthquake and fires of 1906, some good, many mediocre. After awhile, they all begin to blur together, repeating the same stories and facts. But once in a great while, a book comes along with a new perspective and makes things seem fresh again.

Fradkin's book varies from many others by his focus on power politics both before and during the disaster that would shape the City's response and recovery. Rather than the bare facts of the disaster or the usual human anecdotes, Fradkin looks at the conflicts between power brokers and how and why decisions were made. He doesn't shy away from controversial issues such as the Mayor's decision to shoot looters and the rampant racism in the attempts to relocate Chinatown.

Fradkin goes beyond many books by considering the issues related to long term sheltering and reconstruction and the political bloodletting that followed.

This book is a treasure trove for emergency managers. It shows how decisions are not always made for the best reasons and that sometimes its hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

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 

Collaborative Sheltering: The San Francisco Experience
International Association
N ovember 10-15, 2017
Long Beach, California

©Lucien G. Canton 2017. All rights reserved.


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the author, and "reprinted with permission."

ISSN: 2334-590X