Friday, October 15, 2010

Workforce Development

One thing I notice when I am browsing many leadership sites, especially the ones aimed at Business people. They talk about moving up the ladder as a reward the faster you climb the ladder the greater the reward will be, more money, nicer office, earlier retirement. This got me thinking, do we, the wildland fire community foster an environment where competent, capable people have the opportunity to advance their career at their pace or do we hold them to an artificial standard? Do not confuse my question as a label for our community or that this is the way I see it. I do not advocate giving someone a qualification, they need to earn it but I wonder if we demand more than what is required?
Workforce development continues to loom large on the horizon for the Federal side of Wildland Firefighters. The agencies and organizations continue to seek out more effective ways to develop responders and fill the need for critical Incident response qualifications.
There are many real world examples of High Reliability Organizations (military, Aircraft pilots, physicians), where members of the organization are trained to function in critical roles in relatively short time frames.
As leaders we need to keep looking for new ways to develop our subordinates for the future, we need to build the team to be able to function in our absence and set the example by embracing new ideas that work to make positive change in our organizations.

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