I had the privilege to be a member of the VII cohort of the National Emergency Management Executive Academy. Our class added 36 emergency managers to a select group of emergency managers from around the world. At the time of writing this article, there have only been 250 people that have completed this program.
The question that I get the most from emergency managers is, is it worth the time? Like anything else, the program is worth only what you put into it.
The NEMEM program is growing and getting better with each offering. The program managers and instructors are genuinely creating a program worthy of the national title.
The Executive Academy is precisely what the title says it is. It is designed to bring in higher thinking processes and concepts to the top leadership. As the basic and advanced academies are built to bring in basic skills and leadership for the middle manager, the executive takes the level of thinking to the next level.
In the Academy, you are not only exposed the ideas of systems thinking, the leading researcher, Dr. Derek Cabrera, instructed the class. The Cynefin framework’s creator, David Snowden, was also brought into the classroom to discuss the process and why it should be used in decision-making when facing complex problems.
Outside of the academic discussions of the year-long program, the network that you can build is impressive. Unlike taking a class in your region, attending this class at EMI, you get to meet top-level emergency managers from all over the nation and the world.
When you finish the program, you are part of the alumni association, and in addition to the students in your class, you have access to all 250 and growing members of the executive program. It is comforting knowing that when you are facing hairball problems, there is a group of qualified people that you can lean on.
Is there room for improvement? Yes, there is. However, I am happy to be part of the future success of the program by communicating with the alumni and engaging the program members.
If you are on the fence about going, it is time to hop off and drop your application to the National Emergency Management Executive Academy. I hope to see you at the Alumni Mixer.