“If I had an hour to save the world, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute finding solutions” -Albert Einstein
I was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Logging country, and at times, forest fire country. Since both my parents worked as teachers during the day, from a very early age I stayed with my Nanny, or at least that’s what I called her. Her name was Althea Duncan and she was the matriarch of a logging family. All the men in this large extended family worked in the timber industry, most as loggers, a few in the mills. I still remember the smell of pitch, dirt and pine needles on their clothes when they came home, popped the tops off long neck beer bottles and sat around talking about their day.
At certain times of the year the topic always turned to forest fires and in these small towns everyone knew of at least one logger lost to the rapid moving blazes. Whatever the cause, lightning strikes or careless campers, the devastation was always massive and long-lasting.
I recall hearing a story about a logger who took his crew to help fight a fast-moving blaze. After he and his crew were dropped off near the fire line, instead of immediately breaking out their shovels and axes and getting to work, he told his crew to pull out their lunches and canteens, and sit down with him. The crew was stunned but since their boss was a wise old veteran logger, they did as he requested. After finishing a sandwich and a long pull off the canteen, he said to his team.
“Fires are like people. They need to be carefully studied in order to understand what they are all about and how to best deal with them.” He then proceeded to get his crew to study the wind, its direction and intensity. To study the terrain and the dryness of the timber. After a few minutes they had assimilated all the information available, developed a plan, and only then did they attack the blaze.
I find corporations full of ineffective fire fighters, running around frantically using poor information or “tribal knowledge” to attack important problems, often without a plan, but with lots of effort.
The very worst fire plan is no plan. The next worse is two plans. ~Author Unknown
Let’s stop corporate fire fighting and install better planning discipline.
Tight Lines . . .