Episode 015: THE best management practice for effective stormwater management is communication.  “It’s really hard to lead people or influence people or even work with people if you can’t communicate,” says Barry. Communication is a learned skill. As you look at the bigger picture of our stormwater world and why we haven’t accomplished our goals, it all boils down to a lack of communication. That’s been Barry’s mission for the past few years, to help folks get better at managing communication. Barry speaks about the 5 pillars of construction. He feels you have to manage your communication first, then manage stormwater, erosion, and sediment. Effective communication is simply when our intended message is received by the intended audience or listener.  

Stormwater professionals have the ability and a responsibility to influence others from wherever they may be sitting in the organizational structure. We can’t hope to influence people we aren’t willing to hang out with. The general public still doesn’t even get what stormwater is. (Ty) The Clean Water Act was passed over 50 years ago, with goals to restore the quality of our water by 1985. We passed that goal almost 40 years ago. “It’s all how we’re communicating with the public. We talk to (only) each other all the time…we were able to put together an event called The ASA Table Talks, and we brought in not just stormwater inspectors and stormwater professionals. We brought in mayors and Public Works directors and City Engineers, and we talked about funding and opportunities for funding and the real source of those flooding issues in that area. And I think we’re gonna have to do more than that. And, you know, laying on the ASCE report for that sort of thing, and actually talk to people about it, just keep talking to each other.”

Keep an eye out for Barry’s upcoming article in the IECA Environmental Connection Magazine’s October print version and on their website:https://www.ieca.org/IECA/Resources/Environmental_Connection_Magazine_.aspx.

Quotes:

  • “Barry loves dirt. He loves water. He loves the challenge of keeping those two separate” (1:18 | Ty)
  • “Well, I think communication is the best management practice and for us, the reason I got into communication…Well, number one, I suck at it..” (4:05 | Barry)
  • “For the first time in the history of that report card and 2021 ASCE added stormwater infrastructure, as you know, one of the critical elements of our nation’s infrastructure, which is absolutely great news that we’re finally at the adult table, with the bad news our first grade is a D.” (7:46 | Barry)
  • “We’re all in positions of influence matter where we sit in the organizational structure, we all have that circle of influence, we’ve got an obligation to get better every day and all that we do” (38:24 | Barry)

The views expressed are that of the individual and do not represent the opinions of any companies past, present or future.

Connect with Barry Fagan:

Company Website: https://faganllc.com/

Email: barry@faganllc.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/barryfagan/

Connect with Ty:

Connect with Ty on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tygarmon/

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