One topic I've been pondering for a bit is leadership in the age of social media as it applies to emergency management. I consider myself lucky to play a small part in an online (Twitter) group where some of the leading thinkers in the applications of SM in EM congregate.
Just follow the #smem on Twitter and their chat (#smemchat) on Fridays and you'll get to see who they are. Some of the fantastic work done has found a place to stay at : http://www.sm4em.org/.
So, what makes these fine folks effective leaders?
A leader (in SMEM and otherwise), prods people along when they show reluctance to adopt news technology or embrace open thinking, convinces senior executives and elected officials on the value of SM, demonstrates it by showing ROI, but never preaches.
A SMEM leader works to build consensus within his/her organization and more broadly across many contacts in real life or online. A leader will also act when necessary to demonstrate the value of SM as alerting tools or as "force-multipliers" in broadening situational awareness (by integrating it in crisis mapping/crowdsourcing activities).
Basically a leader is an SMEM champion, in his/her respective agency but also with its stakeholders. A leader uses SM to its fullest degree as a continuous professional learning tool in all aspects of EM.
A leader does MORE:
- Motivates and mentors
- Overcomes resistance to change though solid arguments and perseverance
- Responds to the needs of his/her constituency to close the gap between public expectations and his/her agency's procedural or technical capabilities
- Establishes a long-term vision toward an integrated use of SM in EM (all pilars/all functions of the EOC) but also has the skills to manage the transition and the long trip down the road to a community-based operating picture.