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.…

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…

Aviation Meta-Leadership Summit Held at Boston’s Logan Airport

Addressing the need to meet emerging threats through a “whole of airport community” approach to security, Massport—in partnership with the NPLI and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)—presented the first Aviation Security Meta-leadership Symposium on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at The Hilton Boston Logan Airport. The event brought together more than 160 leaders from federal, state and local agencies and organizations, including representatives from police, fire and emergency medical services, Airlines…

Kelly Nee to Lead Boston University Police Department

Boston University has announced that Kelly Nee, NPLI Cohort XIV, will be the new chief of its police department. She will be the first woman to hold the post. Nee is a 33-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, most recently as deputy superintendent of its Bureau of Intelligence and Analysis. She has been active crafting training and deployment plans for terror attacks and other major incidents. In a news…

Meta-Leadership and Cyber Security

In late 2016, the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and the United States Air Force Cyber College co-hosted a one-day dialog on the leadership challenges in cyber security at Harvard Law School. The participants included representatives from the private sector as well as various federal agencies. The dialog was facilitated by the NPLI’s Dr. Leonard Marcus and Eric McNulty. The overarching take-away was that the greatest challenge is not technical, but…