Author(s): James Pauley. Published on September 1, 2019.

Change Challenge


My wife and I recently returned from a trip to our home state of Kentucky. The purpose of the trip was for the wedding of our youngest daughter. As a dad, many thoughts run through your head when you walk your daughter down the aisle: Is this really happening? What’s next? Am I walking too fast?

Once the event was over and I had a chance to catch my breath, I began to think about all of the changes that were occurring—newly created families that are just starting out, established families transitioning to empty nesters, and, yes, the fact that this all means I am getting older.

I also realized that this is exactly why we do what we do at NFPA. It’s all about helping people stay safe: new families, established families, and people who are getting older. We do what we do because it matters. Our continued challenge is ensuring that we do it in a way that is relevant for every one of our audiences. This is part of our transformation into an information and knowledge organization.

Here at NFPA, we are asking a lot of questions of ourselves these days. Who are we talking to and why? How do they get information? What is the most relevant information for them at different points in their lives? How do these needs shift when the questions are considered on a global scale? We recognize that in today’s world of information clutter, these are not easy questions to answer. But we are taking steps to do exactly that. We are spending time talking to and analyzing our stakeholders. It’s not a matter of doing it once—it’s a constantly evolving process that never really stops. To remain current and relevant, we have to keep learning.

We are also taking a look at each of our programs and events. Are they relevant in today’s world? How can we make them better? What are the outcomes that we expect? How do we measure the effectiveness of those outcomes?

If you hear from us asking for input about the relevance of some piece of information, or a program, or how you obtain resources, be sure to talk to us. It’s not just an exercise—it’s NFPA making sure that we are staying connected and delivering the most useful tools to you, and it’s us continuing to transform as the world transforms around us. It’s a big world. Let’s protect it together.