From the Chief’s Corner: Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear…

Chief Alan Perdue

Posted on June 17, 2019

At a recent event, I was asked to deliver an impromptu speech to the group. I accepted the invitation, but what would I talk about? Then an image came to me of the last thing I remembered after backing into the parking space: the words inscribed on the passenger side mirror: “OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.”

If we focus too much on what others are doing, we end up losing focus on our own goals and the opportunities before us. - Alan Perdue

But what does a car’s side view mirror have to do with public safety in-building systems? Let me explain… It is about optics. How you can lose sight of what’s important if you focus too much on matters that distract you

Over the last few weeks, as I’ve traveled across the country for Safer Buildings Coalition events, I’ve had the opportunity to listen and speak to members and other attendees. A common thread from those conversations was the issue of reality versus perception, which brought the image of the mirror to mind.

Like images in the mirror, the impact that codes, standards and listings may have on a company’s product(s) or their ability to secure their position in the marketplace can be distorted. If we focus too much on what others are doing, we end up losing focus on our own goals and the opportunities before us.

Providing public safety in-building communications is a significant opportunity. It’s an opportunity to enhance protection for building occupants, to enhance first responders safety, to shape the future of the industry, but most importantly it‘s an opportunity to be a part of something that truly makes a difference in the lives of others…

Based on my experience, public safety codes, standards and listing requirements are not going away. They solve a real problem. They will of course mature over time based on technology capabilities, improved materials and lessons learned. Our collective goal is to continuously make them better so as to improve the safety of the public and the public safety responders.

Public safety is still relatively new and outside the norm for many in the wireless industry. It’s a subject that pushes us outside our comfort zone. But each of us as individuals and as companies must decide if we are truly committed to the public safety space. If that answer is “yes,” then we must be intentional about what it is we want to accomplish for the well-being of our organizations and their ability to provide solutions for public safety.

Our public safety industry is growing, and with that growth will come more and more competition. Our perception can be that competition is bad, but the reality is that it is good because it pushes us to be our absolute best. Because codes, standards and other regulations are minimum requirements, competition provides an opportunity to set ourselves apart through innovation and new ideas that can push our companies beyond their expectations.

Let’s challenge ourselves to make balanced assessments of our fellow members – making sure to consider the assets, desirable qualities, and opportunities they bring to our Community of Practice. Remember, The Sky is the Limit to what we can achieve when we stay focused on Reality versus Perception - Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear…