Skills, drills and broken bones…

I am having coffee with Stuart Johnstone, one of the most highly qualified and respected mountaineering instructors in the UK and leader of the busy Tayside Mountain Rescue Team.

We are discussing how leaders deal with tricky events.

Leaders plan, prepare, execute, sense the present, think ahead, create atmosphere, adjust, remain poised and, of course, dynamically manage events as they arise.

Preparing for the journey…

Mountain rescue

In two recent incidents a woman broke her ankle and a teenager fractured her skull. Both injuries were the result of simple slips on uneven ground.

The casualties were in capable company, however.

Their leaders were prepared, skilled and calm. They were able to organise their groups, stabilise the casualties, summon help, and hand them over safely to the rescue team.

No panicking and unpreparedness, no floundering and noisy heroics.

The incidents were inconvenient and tricky, but not wholly unforeseen. The group leaders managed these unique situations slickly using skills and drills they had rehearsed practically and mentally before setting out.

Architecture and artistry…

What is your approach to capacity building? Do you try and lock things down in fine detail, grasping at the slippery notions of certainty and control? Do you just get going and see what turns up? How well do you improvise? What underpins this? How much architecture and artistry is there in your way of doing things?

Now would be a good time to invest in some reflection and capacity building.

Dave Stewart
The Fresh Air Learning Company