I had a post prepared for this morning, relating to the evolution of “local” agriculture, specifically around Sydney.
However, the events of the weekend, the burning of Sydney’s surrounding bushland, including several of the farms of those I have been talking to, seems to make everything else trivial by comparison. Getting your head around the scale of the fire disaster facing us is difficult, for most of us, most of the time, as it is no-one close to us who is affected, so can be pushed aside as we go about our business.
This morning is different.
Walk outside your comfy suburban home, and look at the sky, smell the smoke, observe the odd orange light, and you just know this is different, it is not just another Sydney summer bushfire. Hurts to wonder what may happen when summer actually gets here.
As we watch and listen to the news reports, there is a huge application of technology and human effort to managing the logistics of the fire-fighting effort, but one shot on a news report caught my attention. Behind all the activity of the control centre, the people on phones and computers, handling reports and updates, stood a big whiteboard, what appeared to be a visual record of the fires, their relative risk, resources deployed, resources expected and in reserve.
It always happens, people relate to visual material, when under pressure, a picture can immediately summarise a situation that words alone cannot, so they tend to gravitate to pictures, or a whiteboard in a large group situation, something that can be kept up to date in real time, that all people who need to see it, can see it as it evolves. The whiteboard is perhaps the best collaboration tool ever invented.
When the fires are out, the cleanup someone elses problem, and the inevitable wrangling with insurance is the news topic of the day, the lessons of visual should remain with all of us as we go about improving the way we go about achieving goals.
Our thoughts go to all those who have been impacted by the fires, ands will be over the next few days as the fires continue to ravage Sydney’s bush outskirts. Our grateful thanks for the courage, and committment of the “fireies”