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A SHIFT in performance training

Posted by Amanda Cleary on
A SHIFT in performance training


A SHIFT in performance training

“The dynamics created in the program scenarios replicate the normal personal and interpersonal dynamics in life and therefore offer a perfect opportunity to generate shifts in the stories individuals hold about themselves and others. “

Phil Richards - Human Hackers

Breaking normal

Since 2002, Risk Response and Rescue in conjunction with Phil Richards of Human Hackers have been delivering high level experiential training programs that break many of the norms associated with standard training.

There are no power point presentations. Sitting in a classroom is only temporary. Live issues are abound. The focus is on creating degrees of discomfort to trigger new ways of thinking and feeling that result in sustainable change. Changes start to happen within a day and challenging and positive experiences are etched into participants minds in a way that they easily recall years later. Through shared, edgy experiences, bonds are formed between participants that are either challenged or simply didn’t exist before. By breaking down these barriers performance rises to the next level.

The drivers for the original program came from Phil’s observation of emergency response team’s performance in live operational environments. Despite an abundance of technical skills being delivered, Phil could clearly see that the performance of the personnel in critical moments was seriously lacking. And in the context of emergency response, was seriously impacting their ability to save lives and assets. Phil partnered with RR+R in order to provide the facilitation of emergency response scenarios that could offer up the opportunity to develop the human skills of the participants.

 Allowing performance

The first “Operational Leadership” program was originally 7 days long and was jam packed with both technical and human skill acquisition. Too long in hindsight and too broad. The lesson from this was to develop a powerful set of refined programs that focus on developing performance, set within the context of emergency response, the essence of which can now be delivered in only two days. In that two days the aim is to deliver the “break” that organisations hope for, to open up their staff to the lower level change that is needed to allow performance enhancement within the workplace.

 Without the “break”, material is often one dimensional and a passive and unrewarding experience. Using the power of shared experience and collaborative change on the program empowers the participants to begin a shift within themselves but ultimately seeds the necessary shifts in their workplace.

SHIFT at work

 SHIFT uses the Grounded-Individual (GI) approach which builds the participants ability to become less susceptible emotionally to changes in their environment. Tailored, challenging scenarios create the environment to do this.  An emergency context is used, offering a true people focus, time imperatives, real value-at-risk, scope to grade the challenge level easily based on the capability of the participants & is an environment relatively few have experienced. For many, the highest level of emergency response is first aid or the operation of a fire extinguisher.

The development of the groundedness leads to the freeing up of the participants in a way that feeds directly into three key human outcomes – Influence, Action & Innovation. These three are critical in the business environment and conveniently fit into most workplace cultural or performance models. The dynamics created in the program scenarios replicate the normal personal and interpersonal dynamics in life and therefore offer a perfect opportunity to generate shifts in the stories individuals hold about themselves & others.

Moreover, the fact that these experiences are occurring in a team environment and then being debriefed immediately trigger instantaneous shifts. Suddenly it is “ok” to offer up opinions previously being held back and to step up to challenges that would otherwise be avoided. An issue expressed becomes an issue that can be managed.

The seeds of innovation have been planted. What is possible, changes.

SHIFT can be delivered within the scope of an individual business, with participants representing different levels of hierarchy, department or team. It can also be delivered with participants coming from different businesses as well as hierarchy & team. Content is customised to the nature of the participants. Debriefs focus on generating meaning for the live business-relevant or human issues in the moment rather than what the facilitator guide says needs to be delivered, maximising meaning and value for participants. The program finishes on “where to next” in order to map out actions and accountabilities that will lead into the conditioning phase on the journey to performance.

In the end, the individual story of what is possible changes, resulting in the team/department stories changing, resulting in the organisational story changing. When supplemented with capability (the technical piece) this results in the obvious business outcomes organisations desire.

For more information on Phil’s approach visit HumanHackers.Live

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