C21 - Why Isn't Your fire truck red? Understanding the influence of culture and tradition
classroom / Saturday may 13 pm / 2 hours
A conversation is currently happening on a national level to decide the future of the fire service—is the mission about them, or us. Leadership has a responsibility to intelligently pass on our culture to our newest members, but have we lost sight of what that looks like? Change is occurring rapidly in the fire service. While it can invite and usher in innovation, it can also create a space where incumbents fear becoming irrelevant, and we risk losing the common sense, historical perspective and value they offer our organization and teams. Perhaps worse, we are inviting these folks to become toxic and disengage for our progress. In our haste as leaders to pay it forward, it is imperative we balance honoring those we came before us, without walking overtop of or diminishing their contributions.
So how do leaders recognize a bad idea from good ones? How do you push change forward against resistance? As a leader do you understand the difference between culture and tradition, and the power of each?
As technology improves, and the mission and vision of fire departments become cloudy with an “all-hazards” approach, we rely on our culture to navigate us. This presentation entertainingly discusses culture’s ability to influence our beliefs, values, attitudes, perceptions, traditions, and mission. We also will discuss the danger when we lose the balance between our external culture (what the public perceives are our mission and job responsibilities), and our internal culture (what we actually do). If you read fire service headlines in trade magazines or news websites, then you are seeing this exact disparity and community anger starting to emerge. This presentation will empower leaders to focus on preserving our culture and mission, while moving our members into the 21st century.