The Wildland Fire Lessons Center (LLC) serves as a knowledge
resource center for the interagency wildland fire community. The
primary objectives of the LLC are to improve safe work performance
and organizational learning in wildland fire. The LLC was established
in May 2002.
The Guidance Group recently provided professional assistance
to the Center through service contracts. Mike DeGrosky analyzed
and organized wildland fire training curriculum recommendations,
provided professional and technical editing to LLC publications,
collected lessons learned and best practices by interviewing wildland
fire agency personnel at wildfires, coauthored the Southern California
Firestorm 2003 Lessons Learned report, and facilitated/instructed
at Achieving the Learning Organization workshops. All tasks were
completed on time or ahead of schedule and were of excellent quality.
The Guidance Group's extensive background in serving fire organizations
was valuable in supporting the Lessons Learned Center effort to
improve safe work performance and organizational learning.
Paula Nasiatka, Manager
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
Planning requires group decision making, which is very difficult.
Prior to hiring a facilitator,
we were struggling, unable to arrive at consensus on a number
of key issues. Mike DeGrosky
did an excellent job of moving us ahead, asking us the right questions,
getting us to really think about what we wanted, piloting us successfully
through the rough spots, and helping us find the direction that
was right for us.
Pat Cole, Executive Director
Michael DeGrosky has
been working with the Public Lands Information Association for
the past year. He has facilitated the process of formulating
a strategic plan for our non-profit organization. I found
Michael T. DeGrosky to have a wide range of experiences and skills
which helped him understand many different kinds of people and
gave him insights into situations that helped move our meetings
in a positive direction. Michael's approach resulted in his gaining
the confidence and support of even the most resistant participant
in our strategic planning process and led to a productive and
successful result. Michael was competent, professional, prepared
and timely and we intend to use his services again.
Lisa D. Madsen, Executive Director
Public Lands Information Association
Professional facilitation of the Teton County Project Impact
Convening Session resulted in a well-organized, highly productive
and extremely successful initiation of our program. Over 50 partnerships
with local agencies, businesses, and non-profit groups resulted
from the meeting. Additionally, 77 volunteers from the community
agreed to step forward and serve on subcommittees that would promote
disaster resistance in Teton County.
Following the session, I had several individuals from the community
contact my office saying how much they enjoyed the meeting even
though the topic was disaster! Participants welcomed the opportunity
to voice their concerns in an environment where every viewpoint
was considered important. Further, attendees were able to see
a viable product at the end of the meeting.
In July of this year, Teton County was named a National Model
for Project Impact. Building consensus is not easy. In a community
where individualism is a trademark, its a real challenge!
Effective facilitation was key to launching this program successfully.
Teton County Project Impact Coordinator
We recently defined the mission and strategic direction for our
Fire and Aviation program using a participatory and inclusive
process. Our Fire and Aviation Strategic Plan documents and communicates
our long-range focus, provides a foundation for future work planning
and promotes unity and teamwork among the Department's internal
and external stakeholders.
We found facilitation critical to achieving that purpose and
to the success of our strategic
planning process. Using a qualified, neutral coach from outside
our organization aided our planning process in many ways.
The facilitator helped design the overall planning process, assisted
with meeting planning and
agendas for completing the planning process, helped identify
people who should participate from within and outside the organization,
facilitated the group process,allowing the agency personnel to
focus on issues rather than process and encouraged participation,
collaboration and consensus,
while balancing individual needs. The unique thing about the Guidance
Group is that they can provide us with skilled facilitators, mediators
and other human and organizational specialists who also have real
world fire management experience.
Tim Murphy, Chief
Fire & Aviation Bureau
Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation