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Human Performance & Innovation and Organizational Learning

Together, Human Performance & Innovation and Organizational Learning Research, Development & Applications
seek to "illuminate the space for reflection"

Organization and mission of the Human Performance & Innovation and Organizational Learning RD&As

Human Performance Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Human Performance Research, Development & Application (RD&A) is to improve the health, safety, performance, and resilience of the Forest Service at individual, team, and organizational scales. Its objective reflects recognition that risk (broadly defined as potential for unwanted outcome) includes both awareness and management of choices and trade-offs while pursuing goals and how we prepare for and recover from inevitable stressors and unwanted outcomes. From this perspective, sustained high performance is about understanding how people adaptively and collectively manage stress and recovery and about how they manage risk to operate safely in complex systems.

The unit will link leading researchers from a variety of theoretical and applied disciplines with Forest Service practitioners, interagency fire managers, and others to promote leading edge practice of resilience, risk management, comprehensive wellbeing, leadership, and human performance. The RD&A will pursue this high priority work using the following methods:

  1. Conduct participatory action-research on high performance and resilience with a variety of partners.

  2. Synthesize relevant research on high performance, resilience, risk management, and leadership.

  3. Articulate foundational theories and practices that promote high performance, learning, and resilience.

  4. Advance capacity and leadership development for high performance particularly in high risk situations.

Innovation and Organizational Learning Mission and Objectives

The mission of the Innovation and Organizational Learning RD&A unit is to facilitate workplace innovation and organizational adaptation to an increasingly complex and uncertain operating environment. This RD&A is designed to facilitate a cultural transformation that focuses our efforts on making the workplace safer and more effective through continuous improvement and learning. This will be accomplished in four distinct yet inter‐related activities:

  1. Design and carry out unique research, documentation, evaluation, and presentation of workplace innovations.

  2. Serve as a knowledge distribution center for federal and non‐federal research and developments in workplace science and innovation with the aim of shaping the evolution of learning practices in the agency.

  3. Assist and support the development of communities of practice throughout the agency to capture and distribute innovations.

  4. Connect and align programs and work to match the cohesive strategies associated with workplace safety and existing and new risk management practices.

Key Functions of the Team

See all RD&As members here.
  • Integrating leadership’s visions and presenting to the workforce.

  • Researching and collecting field innovations.

  • Evaluating innovations.

  • Presenting concepts/innovation to leaders and the field.

  • Conducting field trials and evaluating new concepts and practices.

  • Developing communities of practice.

  • Facilitating communications within communities of practice.

  • Continuing relationships with academic and subject-matter experts.

  • Managing the Coordinated Response Protocol/Learning Review and Facilitated Learning Analysis programs.

  • Coordinating with Fire & Aviation Management (FAM) and the Office of Safety and Occupational Health (OSOH).

  • Developing new ways to engage in risk preparedness.

  • Distributing and developing risk management practices.

  • Fostering innovation.

  • Creating online learning opportunities.

  • Developing and managing online discussion networks.

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