Emergency Response in a Rules-Based Culture


I was reading an article recently about how the Emergency Management field operates in our “Rules-based Culture.” I wondered if this was such a bad thing, or if it stunted the creativity and innovation that could save lives.

A rules-based culture is one in which an organization attempts to govern and control decision making by implementing, and discouraging deviation from, an extensive framework of policies and procedures.[1] Who among us does not follow a set of SOP’s or our organization’s EOP? Policies and procedures are our life-blood within the emergency response fields. In fact, moving from it can get you fired or at the least disciplined. It seems that the rules-based culture we operate in allows us a degree of safety and security. What about the times when we run into areas a little fuzzy, or not specifically addressed? These areas while they are fewer and further between are, if handled correctly, opportunities for innovation.

I am not sure how one effectively maneuvers through these issues, but I know that the field does seem to be tightening down some. I am not sure that this is such a great thing this early in the development of the Emergency Management field, but we are faced with reality, not wishes. If prudent, we need to be constantly on the lookout for opportunities to deviate.

[1] https://resiliencepost.com/2017/07/11/emergency-management-in-a-rules-based-culture/

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