The Foundational Five

In the following episodes, I delve deep into each of The Foundational 5. While listening, reflect on how you and your team gather this information. Do you consistently establish a leader’s intent? Does your project follow S.M.A.R.T. objectives when adding tasks? Is there an organizational chart in place to identify team members? Are you or your team members aware of how to request additional resources, facilities, or even food? Can you and your team communicate effectively through radio, instant messenger, or mobile phones?

The Foundational 5 concepts explored in these episodes are derived by extracting crucial planning elements I’ve used in the fields of U.S. Military, Public Safety, Healthcare, All-Hazards Incident Management, Program, and Project Management.

Leader’s Intent:

  • To achieve success, a solid Leader’s Intent should be provided to the team so they know the “Why?”
    • Preview: Commander’s intent is the predecessor of the Leader’s intent. To quote, Maj. Richard Dempsey, U.S. Army, and Maj. Jonathan M. Chavous, U.S. Army who I use as one of my references in this episode, “Commander’s intent, when used properly, should bridge the gap between the mission and the concept of operations.” 

SMART Objectives

  • Next, we need to develop S.M.A.R.T. Objectives the team can plan toward the “What?”
    • Preview: “According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), “Quality objectives lead to clarity of purpose and unified effort across divisions through a clearly articulated incident strategy.“. 

Functional Org Structures

  • Now create a functional Org structure to form the team that develops the “Who?”
    • Preview: “I’ve learned the most about organizing from sports, the U.S. Navy, and as part of the Incident Command System (ICS). The ability to quickly create an organization with the appropriate resources takes some finesse and experience.”

Requesting Resources

  • This is where logistics comes in, and it’s time to request and coordinate Resources to build the “How?”
    • Preview: “So what is a resource? According to my vast research skills (Googling that is), Merriam-Webster states a resource is, “a source of supply or support: an available means —usually used in plural“. 

Planning Communications

  • Developing effective Communication brings all of this together and outlines the “When?”
    • Preview: “I talk through the importance of communicating vertically and horizontally, e.g. up and down the chain of command and across the organization, I share some tips I learned on effective communication and the folly of not planning for communications effectively.

Sometimes we make the process more complicated than we need to. We will never make a journey of a thousand miles by fretting about how long it will take or how hard it will be. We make the journey by taking each day step by step and then repeating it again and again until we reach our destination.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin

The The Foundational 5 are basic concepts when used separately. When these five key planning and leadership elements are combined, they create a strong foundation for every leader and team to be successful.

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