Collaborative Leadership

The most successful organizations are led by successful leaders.  The most successful organizations are led by, not one, but many leaders.  These leaders form a team.  It is through the collaboration of the members of team that success can be found.  However, working together as a team, especially a team of leadership personalities, is not always easy.  Multiple ideas, conflicting agendas, and varied perspectives can all get in the way of decisions that must be made to ensure organizational success.

Bobsleigh team, by Tyler Ingram

In the book, Teams That Thrive, Ryan Hartwig and Warren Bird describe 5 disciplines required for collaborative leadership.

  1. Focus on purpose.
  2. Leverage differences in team members.
  3. Rely on inspiration more than control.
  4. Intentionally structure the decision making process.
  5. Build a culture of continuous collaboration.
Purpose is the true leader of the organization. Collaborative leadership works when everyone is focused on the organizations purpose, and not personal agenda.

Each team member brings a different skill, different life experience, and different perspective to the team.  Utilize these to make the team stronger and "rounded out".

By maintaining focus on the organizations purpose and team strengths, the team will create its own inspirational force. Rely on this, not command and control tactics.

Make sure all team members understand how decisions will be made.  Follow the same process for every decision.

Do all team members feel that they can discuss issues and decisions openly? Keep this communication line open.  For more on this subject, you must listen to Richard Ryerson's podcast, "No Egos in the Cockpit".

By instituting these five disciplines into our teams and leadership we can finally accomplish what Vanilla Ice always wanted, "...stop, collaborate, and listen".

Determining Alternate Power Needs (for electric pumps)

I was recently involved with a project concerning a structure in which the fire sprinkler flow requirements could not be met with the municipal water supply.  The fix for this is the installation of a fire pump.  In this instance the design called for an electric motor-driven fire pump.  The question to me was, "Is an alternate source of power required? If so, how can it be supplied, and what criteria must be met?"

Photo by, Crawfish Head

NFPA 1, Fire Code, section refers to NFPA 20 and NFPA 1:13.4 for pump installation requirements.  NFPA 1: requires the approval of all pump installations. 

NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection does not “intend to require a backup source of power for every installation using an electric motor-driven fire pump”. [NFPA 20:A.9.3.2(2)]  An alternate source of power is required only under one of the following conditions:
  • Normal power source is not reliable (as defined in NFPA 20:A.9.3.2)
  • Building height exceeds pumping capacity of fire department apparatus
  • No back-up pump is installed
Questions for alternate pump determination:
  1. Is the structure within the pumping capacity of the local fire department apparatus?
  2. Is the electric-motor driven pump connected to a “reliable” power source?
  3. Will a back-up pump be installed?
If it is determined that an alternate power supply is required, the power supply shall come from one of the following:
  • shall be provided with a generator (in accordance with section 9.6)
  • be connected to a power source independent of normal power (in accordance with section 9.2).
If a generator is to be used as the alternate power source its fuel capacity must be sufficient enough to provide 8 hours of operation at 100% of rated pump capacity.