Team training in complex industries

Some of my work is currently focusing on issues of team training. Recently I participated in the 4th Resilience Engineering Symposium with a paper (written together with two colleagues) reviewing the epistemological assumptions of team training as traditionally performed in high-risk industries such as aviation and shipping. We suggested that with the increasing complexities of socio-technical industries we cannot train our teams without considering the implications of such complexity.

When traditional training concepts carries the risk of simplifying and denying complexity (sometimes ending up in only encouraging the participants to try harder, be focused and vigilant) we outlined an agenda that we called Operational Resilience - with a specific focus on understanding and managing the problems and opportunities that follows with increased complexity, both for team training and team performance assessments (will have a scientific paper published concerning team performance assessment later this year). From the perspective of Operational Resilience we encourage team training programs to focus on the interactions between actors that have different perspectives, experiences and rank (rather than on one perspective being the correct the different ones are seen as complementary), structures of coordinating different actors' actions in a complex flow of events (rather than drilling standard operating procedures), and on engaging different actors in the system to work out strategies to bridge gaps in their process flows.

In order to create an environment for these activities to be meaningfully carried out most important is to establish a multi-professional environment for the training. It is not meaningful to gather only doctors for discussing problems related to team performance. Instead we make sure that we develop programs in which we gather different actors, with different roles, experience, rank, gender, etc. for them to engage in a meaningful discussion that can be the starting point of actual process change.

Tomorrow I am giving an oral presentation around these issues at NoFS' conference in Revinge. Below you find my slides. They are also uploaded to the presentations-page. I will describe more about the HCRM-project in a future post.


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