would your team stand the pressure test?

Crisis training: would your team stand the pressure test?

By John Kananghinis

Our team recently undertook a live crisis simulation training exercise for a high profile multinational corporation.

Part of our role was to observe the performance under a real-life scenario and note areas for improvement.

The crisis exercise was carefully constructed to put pressure on key staff to respond and act appropriately, closely mirroring a potential operational crisis.

Even though participants knew this was an observed activity, perceived pressure very quickly started to expose issues.

In this case we uncovered both organisational process issues and skill shortcomings on the part of key operatives.

These findings formed the basis of an ongoing training and procedural change program that is being implemented across all relevant divisions.

Some of the issues will be easy for the organisation to address, some will take further training and instruction.

Most significantly for the organisation were the actions that highlighted either a lack of preparedness or lack of skill in dealing with the ‘community’, ‘media’ and ‘essential services’ scenarios.

These were planning and skill-based elements that had previously been assumed as a given for people employed in a range of roles.

Even the most experienced team can gain valuable insights from crisis simulation training.

An effective crisis training exercise allows for the identification of areas where structural and training improvements will ensure far better performance should a real crisis occur.

When conducted in a thorough and cooperative manner, such training exercises have no downside for either the company or the individuals. There are only positive outcomes in terms of lessons learned and identification of processes and skills to be improved.

Pressure testing is not to be feared – it is an essential component of ensuring that a team handles real pressure when needed.

Contact ICG to discuss how we can help prepare your team for the unexpected.


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