Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter


Helping Managers Lead Better in Crisis

June 2012

In This Issue
Manager or Technician? Improving your role as an emergency manager
Video: Social Media Disasters 2011
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner

Manager or Technician?


Improving your role as an Emergency Manager

Readers of my book, Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs, know that I advocate a change in how we view our role as emergency managers  from one of a technical specialist to that of a program manager. If we are to fulfill our goal of building organizational resilience, we need to stop focusing solely on the technical aspects of response and position ourselves as peers of the senior executives we serve.


In a recent guest column  consultant Wayne McKinnon discusses why technical specialists have problems moving into work of higher value. While he is primarily addressing moving from technical to managerial consulting, I believe his insights are very relevant to the emergency management community. 




Social Media Disasters 2011

Top Ten Social Media Disasters 2011
Top Ten Social Media Disasters 2011
Social media expert David Amerland highlights lessons from ten social media failures in 2011. While oriented towards business, Amerland's insights are relevant to any social media program and well worth noting.

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Welcome to the June issue of Emergency Management Solutions.
If we are truly emergency managers, why do so many of us act and get treated like technicians? What are the barriers that tend to hold us back and what can we do to overcome them? This month's featured article offers some ideas on these topics.

My monthly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch but you're not getting full value if you're not also signed up for my blog. I usually try to blog twice a week, so don't miss out! You can sign up on my blog site Canton on Emergency Management.


Visit my blog 


If you are having trouble viewing my featured article, try clicking on the link at the top of the page. Alternatively, you can always find my articles in the white paper section of my blog site, Canton on Emergency Management.

Lucien Canton

Professional Development 


One of the elements that distinguish a profession is a specialized body of knowledge. For some time now I've argued that the specialized body of knowledge for emergency management does not consist of the various guidance documents published by the  government. These are technical tools and do not provide a strong theoretical basis for our actions. Instead, I've suggested that the research conducted by social scientists and other disciplines form the true theoretical foundation for our emerging profession. 


Sadly, few emergency managers are familiar with social science literature. One of the drawbacks has been the cost of academic journals which can run several hundred dollars per year. However, for a limited time, De Gruyter, the publisher of the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (for which I serve as an editor), is offering free online access to articles from 2011 and 2012. This is an excellent opportunity to catch up on recent research and perhaps build the case that subscriptions to academic journals should be in your budget. For more information, go to www.degruyter.com/JHSEM. 

Life Balance 


Do you take your vacations? Employers don't offer them out of the goodness of their hearts, you know. Even Scrooge gave Bob Cratchit Christmas Day off, albeit with extreme reluctance. Ever wonder why?
Vacations are a time to recharge your batteries and regain perspective. It's time to think about other things in life instead of work. It's time to reconnect with your family and friends.
When I was with FEMA it was not uncommon to see colleagues hitting the "use or loose" cap on accumulated vacation days. Many of them actually lost time because they were "too busy" to take vacation.
So do yourself a favor and take your vacation time. You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't and it may actually affect your ability to do your job effectively. Even God took a day off.
From the Bookshelf  


Asynchronous warfare, terrorist tactics, special operations in a hostile climate, controversy over government sanctioned torture - these are issues that seem ripped from today's headlines. Yet they occurred at the beginning of the 20th Century during the pacification of the Philippines following the Spanish American War. In  Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream historian Greg Jones shows how the war sparked a quest for empire in the United States that resulted in a brutal guerrilla war in the Philippines with parallels in the current war on terrorism. It's both an exciting read and a book that will provoke thought among Homeland Security practitioners.

Speaker's Corner 
Speaking Engagements  


July 10: Best Practices for a World-class Business Continuity Program, Association of Contingency Planners, San Francisco


July 18: Incident Command: A New Take on an Old System, Building Owners and Managers Association, San Francisco
December 4: Crisis in Leadership or Leadership in Crisis?, Emergency Management Magazine All-Hazards Summit, Miami
December 6: Crisis in Leadership or Leadership in Crisis?, Emergency Management Magazine All-Hazards Summit, Houston

Looking for a Speaker?


Need a speaker for your next conference? I offer keynotes, seminars and workshops. You can find more details on my website  or on my SpeakerMix page. 


Lucien Canton Seminar Excerpts
Lucien Canton Seminar Excerpts
  If you've heard me speak...


...I'd greatly appreciate it if you would take a minute to give me feedback on SpeakerMix. Just go to the site and click on the "Write A Review" button. 


Many thanks!

ŠLucien G. Canton June 2012