Training for High Consequence Environments and Minimizing Disruption


This week, on behalf of Raytheon Professional Services (RPS), I had the honor of hosting a webinar, in partnership with Energy Central, on a topic that is really important to us. The event was titled: Training for Disruption – The PG&E and Con Edison Stories. The approximately 200 attendees got to hear how two organizations that offer critical services with high stakes outcomes plan for and respond to highly disruptive events, such as Super Storm Sandy and the recent Napa, California earthquake.

We are all aware that organizations such as Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG& E) and Consolidated Edison of New York (Con Edison) are subject to both man-made and natural disasters. In an era of potential cyber and terror attacks, and increasingly unpredictable weather events, what are some best practices to achieve readiness? How do organizations that operate in high consequence environments establish the right processes, infrastructure and training to prevent or minimize disruption?

After listening to both utilities describe their key challenges and response mechanisms, three common themes stood out to me:

1)      Robust Preparedness is the key to minimizing disruption.
2)      Processes and technology must be implemented in conjunction with training. They must all go hand-in-hand for there to be success.
3)      Training is the foundation of all preparedness, and should include:

  • Assessment of response plans to identify weaknesses; anticipating and planning for vulnerabilities and expecting the unexpected.
  • Simulation training; both face-to-face and virtual, which is immersive, realistic and repetitive; all important when preparing for high consequence outcomes.
  • Group emotional intelligence response training; to ensure quick and accurate decision making in light of challenging and uncertain environments.

At Raytheon Professional Services, we’ve seen that by implementing the right training strategies for high consequence environments we help ensure the highest probability for managing risk, increasing safety and protecting the business bottom line. The combination of training with great technology, hardened processes, collaboration and infrastructure ensures organizations will continue to see success under intense and uncertain environments.

What are your concerns with the emergency preparedness challenges faced by your organization?