The reasons why we exercise are often varied yet sometimes misunderstood by many. Below I will share some of the many reasons why we exercise and perhaps you’ll gain some insights into Why We Exercise.
Let me let you in on a little secret – A Golden Nugget – even the professionals make mistakes.
This is at all levels, in all industries, it even holds true in sports.
But what I am talking about specifically here are first responders and emergency managers. We all make mistakes.
Why am I telling you this? Perspective!
First Responders and Emergency Managers consistently drill, practice, and run exercises regularly. Yet they still make mistakes. They also have great outcomes, but they do make mistakes.
After each exercise, drill, or real incident they hold a debriefing. This is done whether it was a tabletop or a large-scale multi-agency functional exercise or a real incident.
The debriefing covers:
- What went well
- What went wrong
- How can we do better
- This worked great and we should implement it more
- What did we learn – Lessons Learned
- What are your takeaways
- Let’s revisit and have a conversation on what we need to improve on
The reason why they exercise so often is because make mistakes. It’s also part of training and educating. Taking corrective action and using criticism and critique in a positive way. The repetition of doing assists both actual memory and muscle memory. Some actions also become habit. These habits can be both good and bad. It’s also an excellent way of highlighting bad habits so they are corrected.
When it comes to businesses, crisis teams don’t exercise nearly enough. Many will do this once, maybe twice per year. And if they do, that’s a lot.
But more than just frequency alone crisis teams in the business world need to also take a different approach and outlook. Every exercise should be looked at as an opportunity to learn, expand skillsets, stepping beyond comfort zones, and training for the future.
Additionally, every exercise does not need to be disruptive. It can be as simple as getting in a room, conference call, or zoom/teams/insert your other favorite video conference provider and having a discussion that asks:
- What do we do when (insert event or impact)
- How will we handle (insert event or impact)
- Are we prepared for (insert event or impact)
- Have we considered (insert event or impact)
In fact, this can be done far beyond crisis teams. Each of your departments and teams that hold regular team meetings or get-togethers can take 3, 5, 10, or even 15 minutes to discuss topics depending on what is on the regular agenda. This can be done every meeting, every-other meeting, or even quarterly.
You’ll see changes to your planning and preparedness levels. You might even see changes to your long-term culture. Trust me that’s a good thing.
This is why we exercise.