If you have ever attended a training session with risk management guru Gordon Graham you have likely heard him speak about Rickover’s Rules. If you have never been to one of Gordon’s sessions make it your mission to get to one before he steps away from the speaking circuit. Admiral Hyman Rickover is known as the father of the US nuclear navy. Rickover was tasked with building a nuclear fleet and the stringent rules he put in place are credited with their outstanding safety record.
Rule #1 – You must have a rising standard of quality over time, and well beyond what is required by any minimum standard.
While you may not be responsible for training the US Navy’s nuclear fleet, you are responsible for training the men and women who risk their lives every day as law enforcement professionals.
This week’s question: Is the minimum standard a starting point or a goal for your training programs?
Too many agencies use minimum standards as the goal and tailor training to get people to that standard so they can tick off the box and move on.
Minimum standards are a starting point and not a goal. You need to design and deliver training that continually challenges your officers to get better by improving their competence, confidence, skills, tactics, knowledge and fitness.
I have heard, and used all the excuses:
- Not enough time.
- Not enough resources.
- Cuts to the budget.
- Management does not understand the importance of training.
- Inservice officers always come to training with a chip on their shoulder.
- I have to teach to the lowest common denominator (teach to the 2’s theory).
It is time to stop with the excuses You need to make better use of the time, resources and money you have. Be creative in finding new ways to generate revenue for your training budget. Accept the challenge of help people at all levels of your organization to understand the value of training by helping them understand why it is important to them (not why it is important to you).
Some inservice officers do show up with a less desirable attitude towards training and in some cases it is justified. For many officers that attitude has been developed over time due to low quality training, training that is the same year after year, training that is targeted at the lowest common denominator and training that does not respect and value the experience these officers bring.
You do not have to teach to the lowest common denominator or teach to the 2’s. Treat people with respect, challenge them, expect more of them, believe in them and you might be surprised at how they respond. Inservice training does not have to be the same year after year. It can cover the same core material but it can, and should be different each year and be more challenging than the previous year.
I never said this was easy. It requires a great deal of thought, effort, creativity, ingenuity, and hard work. It is an ongoing process, but it is worth it.
Compare Rule #1 to your training. Does it meet the challenge?
Brian Willis – A Man With Many Questions
At Winning Mind Training we are driven by our dedication to inspiring the pursuit of personal excellence and our belief that every law enforcement officer deserves to experience awesome training.
Have you ever wondered exactly what imagery is, how it works and how you could build it into your training programs? If you attended an Excellence in Training Course you would learn that and many more ways to take your training to the next level. Check out our website at www.winningmindtraining.com for a list of upcoming dates and locations for the Excellence in Training Course.
To book Brian to speak at your event or to your officers contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.