The Challenges of Extreme Hurricanes

The extraordinary wallop from back-to-back hurricanes in 2017 tested the capacity and capability of the response system. There were many challenges as well as stories of resourcefulness, resilience, and courage from Texas to Puerto Rico. Recently, the Leadership Forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health convened an all-star panel to discuss what we’ve learned about extreme hurricanes that should be carried forward for future planning and training.…

Serino Shares Best Practices in Public Health Preparedness and Response

NPLI Distinguished Fellow Richard Serino recently shared proven techniques for leaders to positively influence preparedness and response for public health emergencies. Given the worse-than-expected flu season, this advice could not be more timely. Among Serino’s advice was the importance of transparency when communicating with the public: tell them what you know, tell them what you don’t know, and tell them what you are doing to close the gap. Serino noted…

Jono Anzalone Named 2017 Meta-Leader of the Year

It was a year to remember for preparedness and response leaders: hurricanes, fires, floods, shootings, and more challenged leaders and their organizations again and again. This made it a challenge to select a 2017 Meta-Leader of the Year as National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) alumni were involved in many of these events. Each year, the Meta-Leader of the Year designation is conferred upon an outstanding leader whose breadth of thinking,…

Inaugural Master Symposium Held in DC

The National Preparedness Leadership Initiative held its first Master Symposium in Washington, DC in early November. The program, open to alumni of NPLI executive education programs, attracted approximately 50 participants for two days of discussion. Sessions included updates on the dimensions of meta-leadership (the person, the situation, and connectivity) as well as new curriculum modules on organizational transformation, developing emerging leaders and leading across the “arc of time.” NPLI faculty…

What We Can Learn From Wildfire Fighters

NPLI Director of Research Eric McNulty wrote a piece for strategy+business in May 2016 on leadership lessons for any organization that could be derived from the practices of wildfire fighters. It was timely then because of the Fort McMurray fires in Canada. It is relevant again today as we watch brave men and women put themselves in harm’s way in California. We cannot imagine a more daunting situation in which to find oneself…

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria: Pivoting from Response to Recovery

The one, two, three punch of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have required enormous response efforts.Government agencies, non-profits, businesses, and the public have all demonstrated generosity of spirit and action. The fury of nature has been met with courage, persistence, and resilience. Having seen and been with NPLI alumni through multiple natural disasters, we’ve learned that now comes one of the most important pivots: from the immediacy of response to…

NPLI Confronts Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Hurricane Harvey has lashed Texas with significant winds and unprecedented rains. Thousands are homeless and rescue operations continue. Then Irma blasted across the Caribbean, across Florida, and into the southeastern United States. Marina wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico and other islands. We have heard from many NPLI alumni involved in the response and know that many more are working to help the affected communities cope. There are many opportunities for…

NPLI “Swarms” with Hoover Institution in DC

NPLI faculty and alumni gathered at The Hoover Institution in Washington, DC this week to discuss the latest meta-leadership research and practices. In a lively, 45-minute dialogue facilitated by NPLI Founding Co-director, Dr. Leonard Marcus, the group explored “swarm” behaviors in evidence when cooperation and collaboration are high as well as the opposite–suspicion-based behaviors that lead to discord and disunity. Dr. Marcus presented the five behavioral principles derived through the…

Cohort XV Project Teams Tackle Tough Issues

Each NPLI resident executive education program culminates in the presentation of team meta-leadership projects, developed and executed over six months between the opening and closing on-campus sessions. Students from public, private, and non-profit sectors work collaboratively to identify critical leadership challenges and identify solutions. This year’s teams tackled timely and difficult issues ranging from improved interventions to prevent deaths from opioid overdose, to developing a platform for “whole community” participation…