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Inventors, Innovators and Emergency Managers

I think some of the traits are in alignment.

The quote below got me thinking about how the traits of inventors also can apply to emergency managers in the heat of a disaster response. We can’t be hidebound by what was or which systems are not working — we need solutions and we need them quickly.

You can prepare to be more adaptive by what you read and having a wider span of interests that go beyond emergency management and disasters. See if you agree — by reading this quote:

“University of Utah professor Abbie Griffin has made it her work to study modern Thomas Edisons—’serial innovators,’ she and two colleagues termed them. Their findings about who these people are should sound familiar by now: ‘high tolerance for ambiguity’; ‘systems thinkers’; ‘additional technical knowledge from peripheral domains’; ‘repurposing what is already available’; ‘adept at using analogous domains for finding inputs to the invention process’; ‘ability to connect disparate pieces of information in new ways’; ‘synthesizing information from many different sources’; ‘they appear to flit among ideas’; ‘broad range of interests’; ‘they read more (and more broadly) than other technologists and have a wider range of outside interests’; ‘need to learn significantly across multiple domains’; ‘Serial innovators also need to communicate with various individuals with technical expertise outside of their own domain.’ Get the picture?”

― from the book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.