Everyone at MCP is passionate about the public safety and justice communities and their critical missions. They also are passionate about things in their personal lives. Howard Miller, the firm’s new senior recruiter, is no exception – he is passionate about helping the less fortunate, especially children.
One of his favorite endeavors was the creation of the “Shop with a Badge,” program when he was a senior public relations officer for the Brookhaven, Georgia, police department. The program, which still exists and also involves the city’s fire/rescue and emergency medical departments, provides $200 stipends to low-income children that they can spend at Target, which is a sponsor.
At Mission Critical Partners, our people are the heart and soul of our organization. Every professional’s experience with MCP begins the moment they visit our website’s careers page and initiate their search for a potential role with our organization.
We look to build long-lasting relationships with A-players looking to join our organization. Your first question might be, “how does MCP define an A-player?” We seek exceptional candidates who are among the top 10 percent of professionals in their chosen field and who exhibit the firm’s core values—persistence, integrity, trust, accountability, and prudence.
Last week, Mission Critical Partners (MCP) announced the acquisition of MTG Management Consultants (MTG), a Seattle-based firm that provides strategy and management services to local, county and state government entities. The acquisition further strengthens MCP’s credentials as the leading provider of consulting services—as well as data-integration, network and cybersecurity solutions—for public safety and justice sector clients.
More on that in a bit—but first, a history lesson that will provide some context for this development.
The term “baby boomer” applies to anyone born between 1946 and 1964. There have been a lot of us—according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 73 million in total. And by 2030, all of the baby boomers will be 65 or older—which means that many are leaving the workforce. In fact, the Census Bureau estimates that about 10,000 people cross the age threshold every day. It further is estimated that about 365 Americans retire every hour. Consequently, every emergency communications center (ECC) needs to start planning now for the so-called “silver tsunami,” which promises to exacerbate the staffing shortages that many centers already are experiencing.
Nearly everyone is familiar with the story of Rudy Ruettiger, best known simply as “Rudy,” who walked onto the University of Notre Dame football team in the mid-1970s, despite being just 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighing a scant 165 pounds. Rudy had dreamt of playing for Notre Dame since childhood. After working extremely hard, Rudy was promoted to Notre Dame’s scout team, which helps the varsity prepare for its game each week.
Coach Dan Devine allowed Rudy to dress for the team’s final home game against Georgia Tech. Unexpectedly, Devine inserted Rudy for three plays. On the final play of the game Rudy found himself at—of all things, given his diminutive size—defensive end. Unbelievably, Rudy then sacked the quarterback. His tale is one of legend, and it was turned into a very popular feature film. As inspirational stories go, Rudy’s is difficult to beat.
After years of swimming competitively while earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State University, Molly Falls found her way into the public safety industry and then to Mission Critical Partners (MCP). Now a senior technology specialist who specializes in managing statewide 911 projects, Molly credits years of intense training and balancing the daily grind of athletics with academics as influential factors in her ability to multitask, manage tight deadlines, and remain focused as a project manager.
Leadership has been defined by many people in many ways. A definition that I like goes like this: leadership is the ability to get people or organizations to do what they don’t naturally want to do, or to get them to do things that they don’t believe they can do.
At Mission Critical Partners, all of us are expected to “lead self,” i.e., to take ownership of one’s thoughts, actions and statements, while also having the discipline and drive necessary for meeting one’s responsibilities, both personally and professionally. But effective leaders understand that they can’t achieve their objectives by themselves. In other words, they need a team. And when leading a team, one’s mindset needs to shift from leading oneself to leading others. This is especially true for those working in the public safety sector.
One never knows when the proverbial light bulb is going to turn on. For Mark Athearn, who recently was promoted to consulting lead within MCP’s wireless communications services market segment team, it happened when he was in the U.S. Navy, when he was on his hands and knees scrubbing the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.
Three years ago, MCP’s Nick Falgiatore received an IWCE Young Professional award, which was created to showcase next-generation leaders who are shaping the future of the communications industry. Now Nick is being recognized again, having been nominated for IWCE’s Critical Communications Leader of the Year award. This program recognizes individuals whose outstanding leadership has resulted in successful critical communications implementations. MCP Insights recently chatted with Nick about what his nomination means to him, the firm and—most importantly—our clients.
A popular and effective supply-chain management strategy involves “just-in-time” delivery. This approach calls for the vendor to receive goods from suppliers only when they are needed to fulfill an order. Similarly, a manufacturer would receive raw materials only when they are needed for the manufacturing process. It is a tricky thing to balance, but when done effectively the needs of customers are met nimbly and efficiently, and the company saves significant overhead costs by avoiding the warehousing of considerable inventory.
MCP uses a similar approach to ensure that we can supply our clients with the subject-matter expertise and experience they need when they need them, which we call the “virtual bench.” It’s an approach that can be embraced by all public safety organizations who are looking to find, and eventually hire and keep, high performing leaders.
In two previous posts we explained the “Topgrading” methodology. This method, developed by Dr. Brad Smart—considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on hiring practices—is designed to identify “A” players, those who among the top 10 percent of professionals in their chosen field. At MCP, we are constantly are on the lookout for A players. But we don’t always hire them immediately upon finding a match through the Topgrading process—instead, we assign them to the virtual bench.
One thing that differentiates the team of specialized professionals at MCP is the fact that many of them came from the “other side.”
Nearly half of MCP’s subject matter experts were former public safety answering point (PSAP) managers or first responders who have dedicated their entire career to supporting the mission. With them comes specialized industry experience and a unique perspective on what clients really want in order to realize project success.
One such example is Heather McGaffin. Heather is a Communications Consultant at MCP, where she works primarily on next generation 911 (NG911) projects. With her comes the operational experience she’s earned from rising up the ranks in the PSAP environment. Her career began as a telecommunicator and she quickly rose to the role of assistant chief of communications in a Maryland PSAP where she worked until she joined MCP in 2015. Today, she plays a unique part in helping clients along their NG911 journey—focusing on the human aspect of NG911, which includes training and continuing education so that telecommunicators and PSAP administrators can thrive in an NG911 environment.