In today's Washington Post (Wednesday, August 30, 2006), staff writer: Mike Musgrove pens A Computer Game for Real-Life Crises. This is an account of a crisis preparation and management "tool" (exercise/game) that he and his company have designed, built and rolled out to cities across the US.
By the Post account, this game is a REHEARSAL mechanism that allows cities to exercise their plans, make mistakes, adjust as necessary and get tee'd up for the real thing, God forbid. Makes good sense.
This should not be too surprising. What may be MORE surprising is why businesses aren't doing the same thing? Look at law enforcement, first responders, the US military, firefighters, athletic teams, broadway troupes...all of these organizations do walk-throughs before the shows. REHEARSALS.
In the US Marines, we used a higher-level rehearsal, staff planning and execution exercise that we called a TEWT (tactical exercise without troops) to accomplish similar objectives. We used these in order to keep some of the human capital expense down. Allowed for the staff to be intellectually engaged, run through their paces while allowing the individual Marine to continue to train in tactics and techniques of warfare. I hear tell that in the Army they called these same exercises Practical Exercises Not Including Soldiers. Heh. I love acronyms.
Experiential activity serves as a rehearsal for life. A proven practice. Can this apply to your organization? Your business? Explore the concept. Imagine your business as a computerized "war" game. What would it look like? Can you prepare for business catastrophe before it hits? Can you plan for business success before it overwhelms you? Maybe a REHEARSAL will help.