Not long ago I was advising a boss on a product roll out. His team had never done anything quite as large. I suggested a ‘FireDrill.’
FireDrill consists of 3 parts:
1) The Plan (planning)
2) The Drill (practice)
3) The Fire (execution)
The Plan is a checklist, The Fire is the execution, But The Drill, the practice is the toughest. Because teams need dry runs to learn because things will always, always go wrong. Your team will gain wisdom and judgment through simulation. And learn. Today, permit me to be Your Drill Instructor. And learn how I was surprised by a pilot project.
Your (Army) Business Blogger had no business in the cockpit. My instructor was a Vietnam vet with MigKlr license plates on his truck.
He said the F-14 was a “Man’s Plane.” Sounded sexist. He explained that the old hydraulics required real strength — after a couple of hours, even the strongest studs needed two hands on the stick.
Not for girls.
Or so I thought.
But I was wrong, again.
I bring the 5 kid Penta-Posse to Oceana Naval Air Station to show them how macho military men (like their father) defeated Communism.
We get invited to some F-14 training. I climb in the trainer. The instructor guides me through the take- off and some maneuvers. The room spins. The world spins.
And nobody was shooting at me. Although lots of people were yelling at me…
Time to bring the baby home. I turn. Lots more yelling. It might have been me.
The world, the screen freezes. At a funny angle. IRL it would have been a $38 million mistake and DNA remains of Your Business Blogger.
My instructor: “Success. You did great!”
My instructor: “The seat is dry.”
My instructor: “No puke, no p!ss.”
After my showing off, the Posse is not impressed. The Diva, age 6, female, issue-one-each slides into the (dry, thankyouverymuch) front seat sim. Confident. In control. And zooms.
Perfect landing. “Just like PlayStation,” she says.
I expected a few more years to pass before they passed by the Old Man. She had practiced. I didn’t.
During the Drill no one is hurt. And we all process lessons and understand our capabilities.
And learn the limitations of the team.
And the boss.
A FireDrill will bring out the best in your people. And your managers.
Without the crash and burn.