Friday, December 7, 2012

Making Sound and Timely Decisions

Making Sound and Timely Decisions (Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, pp. 30-32)
To make sound and timely decisions, fire leaders assess the situation, seek out relevant information, weigh options, make judgments, and initiate action as required to create a positive outcome within inevitable time constraints.

The cornerstone of good decision making is good situation awareness. Leaders can increase their decision space by attaining and maintaining good situation awareness. Decision space is simply the amount of time that a decision maker has for considering options before reaching a required decision point.

Leaders can optimize their decision space by using time efficiently. Seeking advance information in new situations or utilizing standard operating procedures for routine tasks are examples of techniques that make good use of available time.

In the wildland fire environment, decisions have serious consequences and often can have life-or-death implications for others. With so much on the line, we have a responsibility to understand the decision-making process—the components, the flow, the effect of time—and to develop the skills and confidence that enables us to make the best decision possible with the information and time available.

Decision-Making Skills for Fire Managers from David Garvin
Prescribed fire and fire use managers had the privilege of hearing from decision-making expert David Garvin, Harvard Business School professor and author of Learning in Action (recommended read in our Professional Reading Program).  Share this video with your fire team today!


Thanks to the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center for sharing this presentation with all of us.

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