The STC Women in Technology SIG proudly announces our May program:

Flow-based Leadership in TechComm

What the Best Firefighters Can Teach You about Leadership and Making Hard Decisions

When: 10 May 2018 at 4:00PM EDT (UTC-5)
Speaker: Judith L. Glick-Smith, Ph.D.
Cost: Free for SIG members
Register: Sign up today (limited to first 100 attendees)

Have you ever watched firefighters and EMTs at work. They flow in a group consciousness, much like a murmuration of starlings. Firefighters know what it means when they arrive on the scene of a house fire to find a frantic woman in the driveway. There is a child in the house. They immediately enter “the zone,” because they know what to do. This is based on their training and experience. The feeling of being “in the zone,” is referred to in the field of positive psychology as “the flow.”

Think of an activity you love to do where you are working toward clear goals, time has no meaning, and you feel completely in control. This is your flow state. Multiple studies have shown that, if people have the proper training and experience, they will make better decisions in emerging situations if they are in flow. These studies also show that, when people maximize these peak experiences, they are more productive and report a higher sense of well-being. How can your organization help your people experience flow more often, thereby improving their productivity, decision-making, and leadership capabilities?

This presentation describes what flow is and what flow-based decision making and flow-based leadership look like. It also details a flow-based leadership model for implementation, based on an extreme, experiential training program in the fire service called Georgia Smoke Diver (GSD). GSD’s success and longevity is a result of rigorous commitment to this model that helps firefighters stay safe, ensure excellence, and live a life of well-being, both personally and professionally. It is a model any organization can adopt to better the lives of the people within the organization and the lives of the people the organization serves.

See this summary video.

Judith L. Glick-Smith, Ph.D., is the author of Flow-based Leadership: What the Best Firefighters Can Teach You About Leadership and Making Hard Decisions, which was listed as Fire Chief Magazine’s Top 9 Public Safety Leadership Books of 2016. She is, also, a contributor and co-editor of Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World: Leading in the New VUCA Context, which was on Forbes’ Recommended Creative Leadership Reading List for Summer 2017.

Judy has been a communication and leadership consultant in the world of Technical Communication and Information Technology since 1983. She is the founder of MentorFactor, Inc., the home of The Center for Flow-Based Leadership®, which focuses on helping organizations prepare for the unexpected by facilitating flow-based work environments.

Judy has been studying flow-based decision making and leadership in the fire service since 2007. Her Ph.D. is in Transformative Studies with a concentration in Integral Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She has a Master of Science in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University. You can reach her at

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