Often, much attention is given to that person who puts out fires in the office. But what I’ve come to realize is that there is another important person: The one who prevents those fires from starting in the first place. It’s nice that, here at NSCS, these heroes do not go unnoticed. Be proactive instead of reactive-that’s the NSCS way! I started to think about those elements that are important in “fire prevention” in the office:
- Planning, planning, and more planning! Strategic planning is one of my favorite times of the year because by nature; I’m a planner. Strategic planning bring the future to the present and work to make those future goals a part of each day. Along with these goals-we set quarterly benchmarks which help us to plan out our year and ensure we are working to meeting these goals.
- Preparing for the unexpected requires a great deal of forward thinking and imagination. I think the best way to get those ideas flowing is to schedule brainstorm meetings with different departments. Sometimes it helps to get perspectives from Team members you may not have the opportunity to work with on a daily basis.
- It always helps to have responsive leadership who are open to employees pointing out potential problems or opportunities. Remember your supervisor is there to help you succeed, because if you succeed they succeed.
- Historical tracking for projects from year-to-year is essential to accessing any changes along the way. If you have a baseline for comparison, you always know where you should be. Proactive people are never caught off guard.
- Take ownership of the situation and act now! Proactive people are not procrastinators. Being proactive means taking timely action and not waiting for a problem to get worse before moving to remedy the situation.
Follow these guidelines and you too can be a “fire-fighter” in the office!