Emergency Management Solutions


Volume 7 No. 9                                                                                           September 2015

In This Issue
Featured Video
Blog Highlights
The Leadership Challenge
Consulting Transitions
Featured Article
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner

Featured Video 

A Local Perspective on the European Migrant Crisis
A Local Perspective on the European Migrant Crisis

Most of the information on the European migrant crisis focuses on the macro-level such as the European Union strategy or state actions. This short video shows the impact of the crisis on the local level and how those with the least resources are bearing the bulk of the burden. Of particular interest is the almost total reliance on volunteers.
Blog Highlights  

Canton blog masthead

Visit My Blog

The following are excerpts from my blog
Canton on Emergency Management. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.  

If fear of terrorism makes us surrender our core values, we dishonor those slain on September 11th....»

Visit my blog 


If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.

EM Blog Masthead

Visit My Blog

The following are excerpts from my blog, Managing Crisis, published by Emergency Management Magazine. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.

Recently I was a fly on the wall for one of those interminable online discussions about whether or not a bachelor's degree should be a requirement for certification as an emergency manager. I find such discussions futile  ...»

Visit my blog

If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.
Encouraging Collaboration is Essential To Leadership
Effective emergency managers understand the importance of collaboration. Our work depends on building trust and fostering relationships. In each encounter, we should seek to make others feel more powerful, competent and able to do more than they thought possible.
The research shows that actions of this sort make our constituents feel 30% more engaged. The real surprise is that leaders who encourage collaboration are seen as 60% more effective.
Enable Others to Act is the fourth practice of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.

To find out more about the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, consider taking The Leadership Challenge. Just click on the icon below for more information:
Click here to take The Leadership Challenge

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
by James M. Kouzes  & Barry Posner 

The Leadership Challenge is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. www.leadershipchallenge.com

Free Resource Guide for Solo Consultants


For solo consultants, true wealth is discretionary time. Don't waste yours on simple tasks that can be handled by technology. This free resource guide reveals the four essential online tools I use to manage my solo consulting practice and save hours of valuable time. And the best part is - they're free!




Join My Mailing List
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the September issue of Emergency Management Solutions.

One of the projects I've been involved in for over a year now is helping to develop a resource website for school safety. I'm very pleased to announce that the website Safe To Learn is now up and running. My contribution, an E-book entitled Keeping It Real:  Building Sustainable School Response Teams, can be found under the "Let's Guide Safety" tab along with a series called Ten Tips for Teachers for Safer Schools by my colleague Rick Tobin. If you're involved in school safety, please visit the site and let me know what you think. 

You may have noticed that I've been a bit of a slacker in keeping up my blogs over the past few months. The reason for this is that in addition to my normal practice work, I'm also working on a revised edition of my book, Emergency Management. If you've read my book and have comments, suggestions, or constructive criticism, I'd very much appreciate it if you take a minute to send them to me.


Lucien Canton  

Featured Article
Don't Let A Good Presentation Go Bad!
Tips for Prevention Failed Presentations

Speaking in public is considered to be one of the biggest phobias known to humankind. Nothing seems to generate as much internal fear and feelings of panic according to some experts. The root of this, I believe, is fear of failure and of embarrassing ourselves.

This not an empty fear, either. Anyone who gives speeches frequently knows that something always goes wrong at some point. But there are things you can do to reduce the risk of failure and give yourself options when things go bad.


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

  Visit my blog
Professional Development 
Why We Shouldn't Just Study Emergency Management

One of the requirements for the Certified Emergency Manager designation is for 100 hours of general management training. General management training is also a requirement for re-certification. The reason for this should be obvious: true emergency managers are program managers and not technicians. We need to be a well-versed in current management and leadership theory as we are in emergency management theory. But I'd like to suggest another, more subtle reason as to why we need to study more than just emergency management.

One of the Principles of Emergency Management is flexibility. We need to develop creative solutions to unexpected problems while under pressure. Problem solving during a crisis relies heavily on pattern recognition. That is, we subconsciously compare the problem to ones with which we are familiar and try to find a match that will give us a clue as to how to approach the current problem. This happens extremely quickly and we are often not aware we are doing it; we tend to treat the result as a hunch or intuition. Interestingly enough, research has shown that we can increase our available patterns not only through personal experience but also through training and exercising.

But why not just study emergency management? Years ago I was introduced to something called "the odd man" theory. The theory suggests that if a group is homogeneous, it can be trapped in "group think" with everyone coming up with the same ideas and solutions. The presence of someone that thinks differently from the rest of the group can stimulate the group to come up with more creative solutions. I believe that the same holds true if we study other examples of problem solving and organizational behavior. The more broadly we study, the more mental patterns we have at our disposal to come up with innovative solutions.

Upcoming Educational Opportunities
International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference
November 13-18, Clark County, NV

The IAEM Annual Conference provides a forum to discuss current trends and topics, share information about the latest tools and technology in emergency management and homeland security, and advance the work of IAEM. Conference sessions encourage stakeholders at all levels of government, the private sector, public health and related professions to exchange ideas and collaborate to protect lives and property from disaster. 
Life Balance  
Keeping in Touch
I can't remember the exact quote but the poet Rod McKuen once said something along the lines of we waste so much time on trivial daily encounters that we neglect the friends that really matter to us. This has certainly been true in my life; it is easy to let good friends slip away if we don't work on keeping them in our lives.

The reason this is on my mind is that I was recently able to connect with a good friend whom I had not seen in several years. It's the usual story: a new job, a changed work schedule, other life priorities all combined to let us drift a bit. However, an occasion to honor a mutual friend caused me to reach out to my friend and we reconnected. He won't make the original event but we were able to get together for another social event and have plans for future activities.

The key here is that I made the effort to reach out to my friend. While I realize that he could also have reached out to me over the course of our separation, that's not the point. You have to work at maintaining relationships. One friend and I made it a point to share lunch every Monday whenever possible while we worked together and we kept it up even after I changed jobs, right up until his last illness. Another close friend and I try to speak on the phone at least once a week.

Unfortunately, there are many others that I have not been so good about keeping close. It's something I'm going to work on changing over the next few months. How about you? Is there someone you should making an effort to contact? Why not do it right now?
From the Bookshelf  

The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century
by William Rosen 

The 14th Century is remembered as a time of calamity. It was time of war and political conflict and time of natural disasters, the most familiar of which was the Black Death. But while events like the Black Death and the 100 Years War tend to overshadow it, it was also a time of severe climate change.

The period known as the Medieval Warming Period had fostered an expansion of population that led to the demand for cultivation of even marginally farmland. But at the beginning of the 14th Century, the climate changed, producing heavy rains and  shorter growing periods that produced seven years of famine that combined with war and pestilence to change forever the character of Europe.

Unfortunately, Rosen's book focuses much more on the political history of the time than on climate change and the resulting famine. In fact, the first half o the book deals almost exclusively with the Scottish uprising under William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. The book is fascinating and well written and Rosen does demonstrate the impact of weather and lack of resources on medieval armies but unless you have an interest in medieval history, you may be a bit disappointed.


Interested in more books on emergency management and related topics?
Speaker's Corner 
Looking for a Speaker?


Need a speaker for your next conference? I offer keynotes, seminars and workshops.
Why Should You Choose Me As Your Speaker?
Three Reasons Why I'm the Right Speaker for Your Conference 
You can find more details and sample videos on my website or on my SpeakerMatch page.  
Speaking Engagements 

Now taking bookings for 2015.

©Lucien G. Canton 2015. All rights reserved.


You may reprint and excerpt this newsletter provided that you include my copyright, the source,
the author, and "reprinted with permission."

ISSN: 2334-590X