in the latest podcast episode I re-visit an article I wrote on LinkedIn just before the 2018/2019 school year. My wife and I created a drill where we had our three sons wake up, eat, brush their teeth and get ready for the bus. The premise was to help the transition from lazy summer to productive school mindset. Pretty relevant as we move into a COVID impacted 2020/2021 school year right?
Below is the main body of the article and a way to listen to ‘PPP48: The Power of Exercises for Life and Preparedness”.
“This week we received a 30% grade on exercise participants meeting a deadline and 60% were able to complete the given objectives. This deadline modeled the real bus pick up time looming the next day for the start of the 2018/2019 school year. The objectives were to one, to consume an appropriate amount of food to sustain energy throughout the day and two, to remove food residue and other nastiness from the mouth in the most expedient way possible before departure. My brilliant wife devised the exercise that served as a mock run for the real school day the next morning.
For an eleven, seven and five year old this exercise was just complex enough to show the realistic impact waking up much earlier than their lazy summer hours and metrics for success or areas for improvement were tracked to be able to conduct a realistic after action review. Once the exercise concluded feedback was given, tips on moving with more purpose and optimizing brush strokes were provided, and of course…donuts.
Just as exercises are important for our kids, they are even more important for emergency and incident management practitioners to conduct. Plan them and exercise them in the most realistic fashion possible. Make radio systems fail. Remove a player for a mock injury. Bring in a secondary attack. Push people out of their comfort zone. Evaluate exercises objectively and transparently. I have often seen and heard post exercise feedback that reflected a perfect weather day with perfect coordination and perfect outcomes when the reality was the exercise actions would have killed people in real life. As an evaluator your knowledge, skills and abilities put you in a place to help others. Once you accept that responsibility, you need to accept that you may need to provide feedback that others may not want to hear. That is OK. Be professional, but be real. Exercises give us second chances but real life does not.
Whether you are an exercise director, evaluator, observer or player, you have an obligation to treat the scenario as if it is the real thing. You may be tired, you may be overwhelmed, but you can work through those things if you work as a team and work a process. Next, truly implement the areas for improvement based on your improvement plan timeline and reap the benefits of learning in a controlled environment.
As for the kiddos, we had a 100% success rate on the deadline and objectives the following day and each successfully made the bus on time.”
Thank you all for reading, listening, subscribing and sharing.
Kevin Pannell, PMP | Creator & Host, ‘People, Process, Progress’ | Connect and subscribe at https://linktr.ee/peopleprocessprogress
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