We all know that football teams train very diligently to be able to play on game day. I’m not going to go into how training together builds teamwork (it does), nor am I going to address that it prepares them to physical and mentally execute the game plan (does that too). I want to drill down to something specific: their training and practice of their two minute offense. When time is running out in a game and they need to win, does anyone think they can just go out and call a few plays and execute under that increased stress? Not hardly. This is something that every good team practices over and over again. They train for this type of scenario specifically so they can execute their plan when all the factors are stacked against them. No matter the talent on the team, if they have not practiced this over and over again they will fail.
This is no different than if we expected our response teams, managers, supervisors, or employees to handle the increased stress of a disaster without actually training them for it. If you don’t practice it – you will fail. So the question is – what is your company’s two minute drill? What one scenario worries you as the owner or manager that if that incident happens could be catastrophic to your business? Have you trained your employees for that? It doesn’t matter if your continuity plans and checklists are in place (your game plan so to speak), if your team hasn’t trained and practiced for that scenario they are not ready and will fail. That training cannot be sending out a memo or email telling them what to do. A coach doesn’t pass out a play book and assume the team doesn’t need to practice it over and over before they get it right and neither can you.
Getting your team ready for your two minute drill will take three steps: making them aware of the threat and your plans, providing training on the process you want them to follow, and lastly practicing those processes and truly testing their abilities through exercises designed to challenge them to execute your plan.
Falling back on another highly used cliché in football – you play how you practice. Every coach of every sport has said this and it’s true. It also is 100% accurate for our teams in our businesses. If you cut out the training and exercise programs due to budget or other reasons you are increasing your risk of failure.
It’s always exciting to watch your team drive down the field and pull off an upset win in the last seconds of the game, and it’s gut wrenching to watch them go out and struggle in those times and fall apart because they weren’t ready. How much more important is your business and the livelihoods of your employees than a football game? Do you really think your company would be able to respond as needed if you haven’t spent time training your team and putting them through a challenging process during an exercise or two? When it comes to our businesses there is no offseason and every day may be your championship game – don’t blow it because you are not ready.
As Always - Be Aware, Be Prepared, Be Safe.