There can be a truly outstanding unit with many participants, then the program manager retires, is transferred or promoted, and the entire program dies either a slow or fast death. Typically it occurs because the successor doesn't understand the program, doesn't want the responsibility, doesn't care or have time to manage it, or is a technocrat instead of a manager.
Is there solution? Maybe. It depends on local action.
1. The underlying cause often is that upper levels of management do NOT grasp the talents needed to manage an EMCOMM unit program and end up replacing the successful manager with one who does not have the time, interest, and ability to continue the program.
2. Usually this means that the successful former unit coordinator did not pass on the knowledge, enthusiasm, and understanding of EMCOMM program management to those with the appointment authority to ensure the unit's existence after departure. This is a common failure because it is an aspect of management that is seldom taught or, where the talent exists, there isn't time to do that as well as all the other tasks.
3. To assure that upper management levels grasp the skills, talent, and interests that it takes to manage an EMCOMM Unit takes time, effort, and planning. It is as much a part of the position responsibilities as is direct management of the program itself.
To any EMCOMM unit coordinator - Make time to do everything in your power, time, and ability to assure this is accomplished. Don't let it die because you didn't pass program support essentials upline: ability to manage, grasp of the program, motivate and delegate.
4. Also, someone in the EMCOMM Unit could establish a working relationship with others in the local jurisdiction AND the local agency in which the EMCOMM unit coordinator is employed. In some cases an astute volunteer has been able to aid and assist the program manager by monitoring the agency level of understanding, then augmenting the efforts of the paid staff coordinator in subtle and supportive ways, customized to the local situation.
5. Find ways to have the EMCOMM Unit WIDELY involved in the local agency and jurisdiction. How can it serve beyond one department? Think beyond "radio" to "communications systems". Become familiar with ALL the NEEDS and CURRENT communications systems. The more (or deeper) that EMCOMM unit personnel are involved within and across one or more agencies of the government jurisdiction, the greater the ability of the unit to survive over time.
Please discuss this sensitive, yet vital, topic within your unit and with the paid-staff manager/coordinator. That's the purpose of this bulletin.
If you have ideas, suggestions and illustrations of successes in this type of situation, please let us know and we'll pass it along for the benefit of the many: E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com