From the Chief’s Corner: Are You at the Table?

Chief Alan Perdue

By Chief Alan Perdue (ret.), SBC Executive Director
Posted on December 22, 2022

For me, the Christmas season is a time of coming together with family, friends, and coworkers. Much of that time is often spent “at the table”, a place where we share food and drink and reflect on the events and activities in past year and begin discussing opportunities for the coming year. During the latter part of December, it's not uncommon for things like business travel and meetings to kind of slow down a little bit which allows us some time for reflection and preparation for the future. During this time of reflection, I found myself thinking about many of the activities we “the Coalition” were blessed to be a part of in 2022 and on the significant impact the Coalition and our members have made in the world of in-building communications. 

To mention a few highlights, the Coalition conducted the most SBC training seminars in a single year than ever before, shared thought leadership at several prominent conference speaking events, spent numerous hours exhibiting, hosted webinars and workgroup/task force meetings, testified at legislative hearings and engaged in countless one-on-one meetings. That’s just scratching the surface.

The collective body of work that took place in 2022 was the result of countless contributions by many different stakeholders coming together with a common mission to support and advance the work of the Coalition. Together we’ve influenced important discussions and decisions this year. We’ve saved lives. For that, I’m beyond grateful. Thank you!!! 

That said, we are not done yet. The work of the Coalition is a journey, not a destination.  Much like our time spent with family, friends, and co-workers during the holidays “at the table” looking at opportunities in the coming year, we must do the same within our Coalition. And now is the time to pull up your chair.

How is being “at the table” important for you and your company? Well first, we must understand the meaning of “at the table” which is taking an active role in the group or activity in which you share your thoughts and influence. Second, as members of an organization we must ask ourselves are we really at “at the table” or just on the member list? From my 40+ years of experience in many organizations both for-profit and not-for-profit, I have found that the 80-20 rule always shows up. 

The 80-20 rule, also known as Pareto Principle, is a research-backed theory that asserts that 80% of outcomes (or outputs) result from 20% of all causes (or inputs) for any given event. In terms of member organizations, it relates to 20% of the members actually being engaged in 80% of the organization’s activities or work. Think about the organizations you are members of and ask yourself if you share this observation? Are you part of the 20% that group that is dedicated to the cause enough to truly be committed and make a big impact? If not, let 2023 be the year when you go all in. 

I know many people set New Year’s resolutions or goals this time of year. I’d like to throw two out there for your consideration; First, make sure you and your organization are “at the table” and secondly, help us grow the size of the Coalition’s table. If these goals are met, the sky is the limit on what the Coalition can accomplish in 2023. Let’s all take some time to reflect, refresh and prepare for the coming year so that we can continue our efforts to ensure emergency responders and the public #feelsafeinside…  Wishing you a joyous holiday season & Happy New Year!

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