Fitting-in

Academics are not the experts, managers are the experts but what fitting-in can do is to help managers to use their expertise.

Theory without practice is a waste - Practice without theory may just be dumb!

 

Fitting-in are developing a new template and we hope you are not inconvenienced

 

Commercial

Could your service stand a Snapshot Cultural Audit? For as little as £3,000 you get a pre-meeting with strategic managers to establish the area to be researched, three days of research by two researchers who report back immediately to strategic managers. The discussions then feed into the written report (available within 7 days). Contact us for more details.

We offer our expertise in understanding workplace cultures (particularly male workplaces). Specialising in research for all types of industries: our aim is to help managers to use their expertise by gaining improved understanding of their workplace culture.

Have you paid for an attitude survey and wondered what you paid for?

Fitting-in can provide a cultural audit that follows your brief - it also provides an outside view on how your organisation is thinking at all levels with recommendations. These close to the ground audits can be completed quickly and efficiently; report back is instant and followed by a written report..

Fitting-in has a considerable understanding about fire service culture and we provide a research, consultancy and training service to work alongside the experts – those leaders of the fire and rescue service who were chosen for their decision-making skills.

Academic

In support of workplace improvement Fitting-in freely publishes a range of articles on the fire and rescue services and some related workplaces. If you have written something that is suitable then send it to us for other researchers to read.

If you are researching on the fire service, particularly for a formal qualification, then look at our library and ask us for help if you want it. This service is totally free and given because we wish to support people who are studying the fire service and develop the academic literature base for the fire service.

Recent work

LGA: 'Fire and Rescue Services: Going the extra mile' (2011). Presented to the LGA Annual Conference 20011 the LGA commissioned fitting-in report that provides an audit of national responses to government austerity measures:

Bespoke equality training (2010-11) to one service to understand and overcome a local difficulty

South Yorkshire: Perceptions. Our 2010 cultural audit for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service looked at how managers can improve relations with the workforce. This is what CFO Mark Smitherman had to say about our work

"South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue was very pleased with the outcome of our involvement with Fitting-in; as it says on their tin, "managers in the emergency services are the experts - What fitting-in can do is help managers to use their expertise" and Dave and Sarah worked very well with us to challenge imbedded perceptions and cultural history within the service during a very intense period of change within South Yorkshire. The result is a far more rounded and pragmatic collective understanding of where we want to be as an organisation – a challenging process, but very worthwhile."

LGA Equality Network: We have also presented to the on our analysis of how 'Localism' would influence the equality agenda. The presentation, including the feedback from the interactive session, are available on the LGA website - we are available to carry out similar work in your service.

The Chair of the network Cllr Brenda Forster said:

“Fitting-in provided an excellent and informative presentation, with many attendees giving it very positive feedback. The information on fire service culture was very interesting and the interactive session provided some good insights for the attendees”

A series of cultural audits on retained and wholetime duty systems in one service (2010-11). These reports remain confidential

LGA Annual Conference 2010 - Fitting-in Presentation on fire service culture

The concept of the snapshot cultural audit was originally developed for the MFRS -- so if you are thinking about making change or interested in looking at an old problem from a new point of view then perhaps we can provide research based assistance or a solution - contact us for an immediate response

If anyone wants to follow up on this or would like to talk about how we can provide you with a similar package with outcomes then do not hesitate to get in touch dave.baigent@fitting-in.com

Dave's original Thesis: One more last working class hero

Working with the Swedish Fire Service (2010-14) and the "Gender, Rescue Service and Organisation" group at Linköping University in developing understanding of equality issues.

Working with Swedish Chief Officers and the Civil Contigencies agency April 2009 and May 2010 (Brand2010 powerpoint)

We were also instrumental in helping to develop and deliver the Programme for action - particularly the notion of a fire station for everyone the strategy for Sweden's policy on equality until 2014

The Swedish equivalent to the DCLG, the MSB have said:

"Fitting-in with their unique insight into real world fire service culture and a firm theoretical base in academia provided the MSB (The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency) with invaluable expert advice and assistance in developing a national action plan targeted at increasing equality and diversity in the Swedish fire service.
                      
'Rising to the Challenge': - Can we discuss with you how fitting-in may be able to help you with the points raised by the Audit Commission's report?
No longer long on rhetoric and short on answers,” fitting-in are now there to assist the leaders of the Fire and Rescue Service in providing answers.
We are out of the ivory tower and using our developing perspective on fire service culture, leadership, management and change management, education, research and training (gained in moving the 360 degrees from firefighter to academic and now back again to practitioners).
Fitting-in offers an extensive research, educational and training portfolio, snapshot audits and elite-briefing led workshops each designed to act as levers for change?
Merseyside Fire and Rescue

Ethos research that was undertaken by Fitting-in, with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and the FBU suggested that if people were offered a choice and if cooperation could be achieved in warming up one part of the cultural sea, then it could be possible to start a chain reaction that could transform the service.  Ethos 2 suggested how that could be done and the draft Ethos 3 report added to the model for cultural change.

"The Service are delighted with the research and reports produced by "Fitting-in. We believe that your original hypothesis and work undertaken in Merseyside has resulted in a ground breaking piece of work that can only serve to inform the wider fire and rescue communities." 

                         

  Les Skarratts (FBU Secretary)           Dave Baigent                      ACO Bill Evans                    Contents Ethos                                  Contents Ethos 2

 

Elite Workshops:- are stand alone one day packages for senior managers and authority members on a whole raft of areas.

Subjects covered include fire service culture(s), the employment of women as firefighters, change management, initial training. We can offer a whole host of education and training packages. These workshops have a primary aim of seeking solutions and will be customised to your requirements - they can also be used as team building days for your senior managers.
We also offer a workshop for people who are having difficulty in understanding how equality works and what diversity means; people who may need to spend some time reviewing their attitudes
If you want to look afresh at an old difficulty, respond to something new or carry out an impact assessment, then ask how fast we can turn around our research in an efficient, rigorous and economic way.
Fitting-in can also cater for your traditional research needs and you may wish to tap into our expertise -  contact us to see what we can offer
Looking for agreement on budget cuts?: - The new government are going to cut the service further:
Whilst FRS's will no doubt have planned for such an outcome we have something to offer.
We can meet with your strategic thinkers about how they think the budget can be managed. Then we will facilitate a workshop based around our findings (their ideas) with a view to gaining a consensus on the way forward.  We can also meet with the trade unions, your workforce and feedback their ideas.
Further support will always be available through research and consultancy for any projects undertaken as a result of any work we carry out for you.
References: see what South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services, Swedish Fire Service and Tom Carroll (Past president of CFOA ) and others have said.