Sunday, July 14, 2013
Organizational Assessment from the Department Head
On a recent trip, I had the opportunity to provide an organizational assessment for a department. Now there are many standards in our industry that must be met and dependant on the level of service delivery, those requirements may vary dramatically. The one thing that is pretty consistent though, at the most basic level is the foundation of organizational behavior. When you build a beautiful home on a poor foundation, regardless if it is the best house on the block, over time the weakest link in the construction will rear it's ugly head. No different in the fire service. You see the fire chief can buy as many shiny fire trucks as he wants, or all of the techinical rescue equipment in the world, but without a culture that cares about quality training and equipment readiness, the service delivery will certainly faulter. Assessing an organization's behavior (by using the KISS method) can be as easy as looking at the little things. If the attitude and behavior of an organization is healthy (with a lot of positivity) you will not find a lot of little things seen as "petty" by the membership. They have pride and ownership (Chief Laskey) in their actions and make sure they are at the response ready. But when you do find that "little things" are often left unresolved within an organization, it can be a red flag for other issues that may need to be addressed or resolved before someone potentially gets injured or killed in the line of duty.