Towards Preparedness and an Emergency Management Workforce of the Future
For FEMA, exploring the “what ifs” and the possibilities of non-weather events such as cyber-attacks or terrorist attacks before they occur, can help the agency develop a proactive culture. For example, FEMA could use value chain analysis to tackle its toughest challenges in preparedness and mitigation. This process decomposes key questions, generates a hypothesis, and executes a plan. By implementing this issue-based problem-solving technique, FEMA can create a culture of preparedness, shared responsibility, and a sustainable workforce.
Through the last hurricane season, FEMA demonstrated unprecedented resolve and determination and is a stronger agency than ever. With a clear strategy and focus on its workforce, FEMA is prepared for the next hurricane season and next catastrophic disaster.
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Grit and determination. This is what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workforce is known for. After what is arguably the most challenging year in its history, the FEMA leadership called on the agency to enable the workforce through four elements: build, empower, sustain, and train. A key factor in creating a scalable, sustainable disaster response workforce is to foster a proactive culture, one focused on preparedness. A proactive mindset can create an environment that asks the “what if” questions that lead to more prepared response efforts.
A proactive mindset and culture develops when taking intentional steps to influence an environment or prepare for an obstacle before an event occurs. For example, FEMA has begun to enhance their proactive mindset and has introduced new initiatives to develop their workforce. The Field Leader Apprenticeship Program, a professional and leadership development initiative that kicked off in April 2018, is a course designed to train and develop FEMA leadership for the next disaster. This new program is a significant step forward in FEMA’s ability to build a recruitment and development pipeline, allowing the agency to retain enough qualified personnel ready to lead response and recovery operations.
When preparing for disasters, asking the “what if” questions can help engage employees and first responders to think about possible incidents before they occur. Arc Aspicio asks these questions as part of our consulting approach and especially through our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab), a knowledge and exploratory hub designed to solve compound challenges by applying methods, accelerators, and innovative thought leadership. The SILab helps Arc Aspicio create a proactive mindset with innovative techniques that help consultants define strategy, inspire innovation, and deliver solutions quickly.