Well Positioned for an Uncertain Future
Strategic Management and Planning for Fire Science Organizations
M.T. DeGrosky, Chief Executive Officer
The Guidance Group, Washburn, Wisconsin, USA
As we advance into the twenty-first century, we all recognize that the world continues to undergo, rapid, fundamental change. Relentless physical, technological and social developments provide unlimited need and opportunity for basic and applied scientific research into fire meteorology, behaviour, ecology and management as well as firefighter human factors and safety. Global climate change, burgeoning world population, shifting demographics, wildland-urban interface, unsustainable development and rapid technological change provide unlimited areas of inquiry for those who study forest fires on a scientific basis.
The fire research community continues to recognize the necessity and value of intra-national and international cooperation, and that collaboration continues to intensify. At the same time, many of the organizations and institutions charged with conducting this type of research are downsizing, reorganizing and "doing more with less," often much less. This trend calls into question the forest fire research community’s ability to increase its knowledge, anticipate needs, and adapt to accelerating change. The future bears challenges that will make the next decade both exciting and difficult for fire scientists.
Fire research organizations and institutions seeking long term success, will understand and readily adapt to the changing needs of their partners and patrons in the fire community, constantly improve their customer service and produce responsive results. This ability to adapt requires organizations to think, plan and manage strategically.
Today, progressive organizations have rediscovered the value of strategic planning, and employ democratic processes that tap the knowledge, experience and talents of people within the organization and its stakeholders. This paper presents a direct, practical and democratic strategic planning model and explores its application to organizations that study forest fires on a scientific basis.
Read more about this in our 12-page PDF article.