Making sure first responders have tools for success
Recent increases in worker productivity among American workers are a well-known business success story.
Writing in Stanford Business Magazine, for example, Kathryn Shaw points to productivity gains at U.S. steel mills as an example of the impact of management practices and technology on worker productivity.
She examined the effect of new information technologies and innovative human resource practices on the classic old-economy industry of steel valve production. “When people think of IT, they usually think of computers on desks, but in this case the technology was embedded into the machine tools.” Plants that combined the most advanced machinery with better training and development of better employee communication and teamwork skills gained a competitive advantage over other shops.
It’s a paradigm that should be readily transferrable to the world of Homeland security, too. By improving our management practices related to security and first responder professionals, we can increase the “productivity” of their work efforts — in other words, make us all safer.
And cutting edge developments in technology — many also relating to IT advances and also embedded into other devices — can enable our manpower to gain additional effectiveness from productive use of the right tools. Our cover story this month describes some of the technologies that may soon be available for use by first responders.
If we can combine these forces to ensure our safety, it will be the realization of another American productivity success story.
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