Fallston Group

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Flexible Thinking Key to Safety and Security

By Frank Barile –

When the US Navy Seals arrived at their objective in Abbottabad, Pakistan they had already spent multiple hours planning and rehearsing  for the raid they were about to conduct. The best military tacticians had designed a clever operation to use a two-pronged assault on the compound that housed Osama bin Laden. One assault team would attack from the roof top working their way down and another assault team would attack from the ground, preventing any escape. Unfortunately, regardless of all the best planning in the world no one could prevent a helicopter from having mechanical trouble causing it to crash land. This unforeseen crash landing could have caused the raid to end disastrously because the crash prevented a SEAL team from mounting the roof as planned.  Instead, the SEALs used the unforeseen chain of events to reorganize their strategy and pull-off one of the greatest Special Forces raids in our lifetime. How were they able to reorganize and respond so effectively after the crash landing?

US Special Operations Soldiers are trained to be redundant and flexible in their thinking. They are taught very early in their training to realize that their mind is the greatest weapon they possess. Also, you can bet that during the pre-raid rehearsals, the assault teams looked at the various things that could go wrong and planned contingencies for any possible mishap. The flexibility to adapt, combined with the proper mindset, is what makes Special Forces elite.

We can learn a very valuable lesson from the monumental event and turn adversity into advantage in our daily lives just like the Seals did during the raid. Too often we are rigid in our thinking and do not plan for contingencies when it comes to our safety and security. Whether we are planning a vacation, trip to the mall or routine business travel, we can take a few minutes to prepare and plan for most unforeseen emergencies.  Flexible thinking is a key to your safety and security.  It is the mechanism that allows us to plan for the “what if” scenarios which are paramount to our safety and security during crisis and turmoil.

To learn more about flexible thinking applied to crisis and issue management contact the Fallston Group at 410-420-2001.

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