What is Innovation? There are many ways to approach the subject but the bottom line is that innovation is the implementation of new methods. In today’s environment, people tend to think of innovation in terms of things, often specifically related to technology—a new gadget or an upgraded tool ; but innovation is not solely about a product.
Often it is not the technology that drives the idea, but the idea that drives the technology. Which leads to another point: innovative thinking leads to innovative action, which leads us to ask “What’s next?” As our environment changes, it is essential that fire service leaders are looking at how we can adapt new ideas and improve the business practices and operations in our departments and communities. It is essential because lives depend on it. It is essential because the future of our profession depends on it.
Whether you are considering small improvements or grand innovations, don’t let fear stand in your way. Opportunities to explore new ideas provide growth to us as leaders and inspire change within the industry.
All this is easier to do if you are not alone in your efforts. I think we can all agree that habits are more easily formed when they are supported socially. Innovation is easier if you share ideas with others, broaden your perspectives, build off of the energy of others and have a network of peers who agree you’re not crazy.
That is why the IAFC is excited about the opportunity to bring together forward-thinkers from both the public sector and private industry. Both groups bring different perspectives and both have the opportunity to impact the future of the fire service. This is your chance to be among the creative minds paving the way for what’s to come, check out www.iafc.org/innovation for more details.
Jeffrey D. Johnson
Chief Executive Officer
Western Fire Chiefs Association