Command and Staff Program

Adaptive Decision Making as a Deliberate Counter VUCA Tactic

Replies
254
Voices
132
Dr. Mitch Javidi
Instructions:  
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 
  • Edit
    Monte Potier

    I believe the most important part to have "adaptive decision making" is departmental training in a scenario style environment. With this type of training officers have something to "go back on" and experiences in a controlled environment. That way the officers can learn and what doesn't work in a "scenario" where their life is not on the line.

    • Edit
      Joey Prevost

      I now realize that looking back on some of the training that I thought was ridiculous at the time, it follows the model in this lecture. The scenario is altered unit it sometimes morphs into something bizarre.

    • Edit
      Jason Porter

      Past experiences are very necessary in making quick decisions when the real thing happens. The training will give people just that experience they need to recall when the going gets tough.

      • Edit
        chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

        I agree when it comes to making decisions, going through those things from the past can definitely help with the future of using vuca and its on set of difficulties.

      • Edit

        I agree and by projecting the potentials into the past with ways to solve them gives us a better comfort level in decision making a timely decision if that moment comes. I've participated in round table exercises before that seemed far fetched and somewhat annoyed me. I missed the bigger picture of just being prepared for the unknown and understanding what resources are available when the "what if's" actually happen.

      • Edit

        There are sometimes comments in reference to scenario based training not being appreciated. I believe as long as this training it taken seriously it can be a great learning experience.

    • Edit
      Nancy Franklin

      Monte,

      I agree that scenario style training is extremely beneficial to improving officer's adaptive decision making skills. In these controlled environments, officers can gain skills and experience that create a memory bank for them to recall from when dealing with active situations in the filed.

      • Edit

        I could not agree more with Nancy about the importance and benefits of scenario training. Many agencies place to much emphasis on classroom only training. I have always adhered to the Crawl, Walk, Run training concept that I learned as an Army officer. Crawl phase.. concepts and information is presented to develop basic understanding (Classroom) Walk Phase.. exercises- controlled simulations that focus on a specific section of the concept presented in the Crawl Phase. This phase may be repeated as many times as needed depending on the number of individual topics needing to be learned.. last is the Run Phase.. This is where all the individual aspects covered in the Walk Phase are combined into one large scenario/ exercise.

    • Edit
      Brian Lewis

      Totally agree Monte. We usually conduct scenario based training based on past OISs or critical incidents.

    • Edit
      Lt. Mark Lyons

      I agree. Role playing scenario based training is something we use for various training events. We try to simulate each event as close to the real thing as we can. It helps to build confidence in those who participate in it.

    • Edit
      Samantha Reps

      I agree, scenario based training is some of the most beneficial training that an organization can offer. This is the only time you are able to learn and take a "time-out" to regroup if it starts to go wrong.

    • Edit

      I think that a lot of people don't realize how important training can really be. I think we have all had those times where we feel like it is pointless and we are training on something that will never happen. However, in my opinion I think that training are like building blocks. We may not ever have an exact scenario that we had in training happen, but there are parts of that training that we may be able to apply to another situation that we are put in.

    • Edit
      Paul Brignac III

      I agree that there is no better way to safely experience how certain situations feel than scenario training. I have witnessed the effects of stress that was induced by scenarios instructors have placed me in. Scenario training can help show how you would actually react if the situation were real.

    • Edit
      Justin Payer

      Monte, I agree. The training environment also leads to more confidence with the experience. With more confidence, better decisions are made.

    • Edit
      Miranda Rogers

      I agree that training in scenarios that require adaptive decision-making will increase our officer's ability to effectively respond to chaotic situations.

  • Edit
    Mike Brown

    I agree with Monte, and because of our departments in service training and the use of body worn cameras we can how our officers are reacting to certain incidents and go back and evaluate how things happen. We can then go back and either reteach or come up with a game plan to do something better.

  • Edit
    Joey Prevost

    How often do we dread scenario based training during In Service. Why, it makes us uncomfortable and takes us out of our norms. My agency's training often consists of actual incidents and often force us to employ adaptive decision making skills.

    • Edit
      Drauzin Kinler

      Joey, this is a very effective way of providing training. Forcing those that will respond to such events to utilize adaptive decision-making skills is crucial when encountering such situations.

    • Edit
      Judith Estorge

      Joey,

      I agree that our In-Service training has become quite beneficial since it uses true scenarios. They are not all intended for failure or success but give actual responses to true life situations. It is a much needed improvement from years past.

    • Edit
      Jarod Primicerio

      I agree. This type of training makes us use the skills taught in a somewhat stressful environment. Exactly what we need since reality in society takes us there. These adaptive decision making skills will help us all grow.

      • Edit
        Henry Dominguez

        I agree, scenario based training is very useful in retention. Plus the more scenarios you do, can only enhance your thought process and decision making skills. I was taught that you should always give yourself scenarios in your head to think about because you may some day come across that incident and since you've already thought about it before, you are better prepared for it, like you've been there and done that.

    • Edit
      Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

      Joey, you are correct about people dreading or avoiding the scenario training. What does that say about the people who avoid it or take a position on the perimeter?

    • Edit
      Jennifer Hodgman

      I agree! scenario based training does make us uncomfortable but provides us with great muscle memory opportunities and allows us to make mistakes in a controlled environment.

  • Edit
    Drauzin Kinler

    In reviewing this module, I believe that providing adequate training to all personnel on how to utilize adaptive decision-making skills in chaotic situations is critical. My agency provides active shooter scenario training every two years. The training is simulated utilizing school staff, students, along with outside entities such as Fire, EMS, Parish Government, and outside law enforcement agencies. The training provides the opportunity for everyone involved to learn how to adapt and overcome such chaotic situations.

    • Edit
      Dan Wolff

      Drauzin Kinler,
      Each year our in-service within our organization came to mind in the scenarios they train for adaptive decision making, but utilizing other agencies for scenario training came to mind such as active shooter at a school as you mentioned. This is a great exercise for all agencies to identify any issues that may come up in the feedback or “after action”.
      Dan

      • Edit
        Clint Patterson

        Dan, I work with Drauzin and wrote about the same thing, unintentionally. This form of training is so vital to host because, in a real-world event (which I pray never happens), everyone will know how to respond in a crisis effectively. Furthermore, it will build confidence in everyone in your agency and community.

    • Edit
      Eduardo Palomares

      I wish we had more scenario based training on critical incidents such as active shooter. The mind has been, the body will be more equipped to respond. In reviewing this module, I discovered that adaptive thinking provides the counter balance to VUCA. The more realistic the scenario, the better latter reaction when confronted with similar circumstances. I agree with you that proving this training will help people adapt to chaotic circumstances.

  • Edit
    Jason Porter

    Being able to make quick decisions that will not only protect you, but also protect the people you are sworn to protect is pretty good training. This type of training needs to be included in every agency's in-service manual. No one seems to care for in-service training, but selling this to the trainees on how necessary this is in this line of work will open some eyes and make for a better deputy.

    • Edit
      David Ehrmann

      You're right, Jason. No one cares for in-service training. For decision-making training to be effective, officers need to be shown the need for the training. Possibly providing a situation where some will initially fail, before the training, could explain the need for it.

    • Edit
      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      In service training is vital at my agency. We plan scenario based training and make it as real life as can be. It allows our officers to realize some weaknesses and build them up for the uncertainty ahead in their careers.

  • Edit
    Judith Estorge

    Problem solving, the mental process of effectively reacting to a change in a situation is a skill for every leader to acquire. The term confirmation bias is of interest as keeping an open mind when new ideas/information is presented.

  • Edit
    Dan Wolff

    The process of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) are things we should understand and train for when it comes to Adaptive decision making. How we train for these situations is vital in creating scenarios close to reality. In our in-service training one year our staff did an outstanding job creating four different scenarios that we would play out on how we reacted to the situation. Discussion, practical applications, decision making exercise and free play were all designed in these scenarios. Feedback afterwards was extremely beneficial. Some were using sim munitions so it elevated the tension of what to do and how to react. Using inner tools such as intuition and experience played out. The same an effective leader should act upon to eliminate, mitigate or understand a problem or situation to make the best decisions at the time of crisis.

  • Edit
    Nancy Franklin

    It is important that law enforcement leaders adopt the process of VUCA to improve adaptive decision making skills. Using the VUCA process in training officers provides them with opportunities to experiment with and learn effective and adaptive decision making skills in a safe and controlled environment. This creates a memory bank tool box for officers to pull from when they encounter issues in the field. Having had the experience of dealing with a similar situation in a controlled training environment can improve the officer's response to an active situation and enhance the outcome.

    • Edit
      Brian Johnson

      Nancy, very well said. I agree that we must ensure that we utilize adaptive decision-making skills to enhance training for all our personnel. Brian

  • Edit
    Brian Johnson

    This module on VUCA made me realize the importance, now more than ever, of utilizing scenario-based training to reinforce the critical thinking skills that must be part of the muscle-memory for high-risk incidents. Specifically, California's new legal requirements for UOF de-escalation has made the split-second decisions made by an officer during a rapidly unfolding UOF incident even more critical. The critical review will have a profound impact on our officers- the emotional, physiological, psychological, and legal ramifications all create real issues for us to address leaders. In addition, the public review through BWCs and other videos will allow for the, often unfair, critical review of those incidents. As we know, the BWC video does not provide a clear and accurate perspective of the actual dynamic unfolding UOF incident. We must train to VUCA to protect and take care of our officers. We need to work within our budgets while being creative to ensure this type of training is being provided to our personnel.

  • Edit
    Clint Patterson

    This module made me reflect on our active shooter training in our agency. This form of training is generated on a “full scale” as an exercise to bring together our agency and other surrounding agencies to function fluently in a time of need. The planning of this exercise takes several months and incorporates all first responder entities. We utilize real actors, live simulation in gunfights, makeshift bombs, etc. This is truly a chaotic scene and results in many people reconsidering their profession as teachers. Still, most importantly, it identifies the capable and incapable abilities to make adaptive decision making in a time of chaos.

    • Edit
      Laurie Mecum

      This too made me think about the active shooter training you guys do in our agency. Praying its never needed.

    • Edit
      Rocco Dominic, III

      We are lucky as a department to have this type of training. It give those from other divisions an insight on how all the divisions work together and the tactics that are involved.

    • Edit
      Lance Leblanc

      Clint, I remember after Columbine, we started active shooting training. I was one of those officers who believe it will never happen here where I live. Unfortunately, it did happen here. Some mental case went into the movie theater and starts shooting people. Because we trained for it, we were able to correctly respond.

  • Edit
    Laurie Mecum

    I think this type of training is very valuable in all agencies. Most often it’s for situations none of us would like our officers to have to respond to, however, in today’s world it’s becoming more and more necessary. Active shooters, bombings and such make law enforcement agencies have to prepare for these situations.

  • Edit
    Jarod Primicerio

    This is a relevant and extremely important topic for current and future leaders in law enforcement. VUCA is a great depiction of where leaders need to be focused and identify where they need to grow. All too often we have worked for leaders who say and do the same thing consistently because the status quo is easier and more comfortable than change. Progressive and proactive leadership requires one to be adaptive to the ever-changing world we live in.

  • Edit
    David Ehrmann

    Law enforcement officers need to train on how to counter VUCA when it arises. This training should start at the most basic level, particularly in the academy. Providing recruits with training scenarios where adaptive decision making is needed can better prepare them for what they will deal with on the streets. The situations should gradually become more complex to challenge the recruit to make better, more effective decisions based on the training they received. Training on adaptive decision making should also continue through in-service training and full-scale exercises, such as active shooter training scenarios discussed by several other students in this discussion.

  • Edit
    Roanne Sampson

    All law enforcement officers need to understand VUCA in order to combat different situations that might erupt. VUCA challenges officers to "think on their feet" and adapt to changes. Training will help increase the effective response to spur of the moment issues that develops.

    • Edit
      McKinney

      I agree that training law enforcement personnel with VUCA will prepare “think on their feet” them for real-world applications, especially for chaotic situations.

  • Edit
    Amanda Pertuis

    I think understanding VUCA and training is beneficial in Communications. This helps in high stress calls that do not typically occur. We participate in our Active Shooting Scenarios and with some EOC Scenarios.

  • Edit
    Christian Johnson

    Understanding chaotic events and being able to adapt to constant changes is vital.

    As many others have said, the more real you can make training, the better.

    You never want 'real life' to be the first time you've seen something and dealt with it if you can help it.

    • Edit
      dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      Christian, I agree. Training is vital, although we cannot train for every situation, training on fundamentals can give us a roadmap to help us think better on our feet.

  • Edit
    Rocco Dominic, III

    Understanding VUCA allows the officer to think on his feet during stressful situations. This is a tactic that should be taught to all new recruits and incorporated into in service training.

  • Edit
    Lance Leblanc

    VUCA is an important part of police training. Training in real-life scenarios will prepare officers for that one day when situations go bad. I know in my agency, we use actual training scenarios where we as a department have faced.

    • Edit
      Lance Landry

      In my opinion scenario based trained is by far the best. Most learn and retain the training by actual hands on participation.

  • Edit
    Brian Lewis

    We've been implementing VUCA police training for some time now. We recently acquired a firearms simulator and constructed a training simulator car. We took a crashed Crown Vic, cut out the driver's compartment, placed it on casters so we can wheel it in front of the simulator screen. That way we can have our officers practice deploying from their car in certain scenarios.

    • Edit
      Donnie

      That’s a novel idea for scenario based training. I’ve found YouTube to be helpful in developing new ideas to keep in service training interesting. Perhaps the best way to get new ideas in scenario based training is through networking though. Contacting other agencies for resources and ideas or joint training can keep things interesting.

  • Edit
    Lance Landry

    Making quick decisions are an inherent part of police work. Some do it well others do not. I was particularly interested in the ways to counter VUCA tactics. Scenario based training has been in place at our agency for years. It gives opportunities to build that “library” of experience that can be reverted back to in real life situations.

    • Edit
      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I agree that these scenario based simulations are are essential to help in developing experience. But we as police leaders must not forget that its not just about the process, but also about the feedback. This feedback helps us understand the adaptation process and allows for greater problem solving.

  • Edit
    Donnie

    The best way to train to adapt to situations that law enforcement encounter is scenario based training. This type of training is easily controlled in the training environment. While we could literally spend every single day on a different scenario with different factors, a general based training scenario is better than nothing. This module basically sums up why law enforcement doesn’t use the word “routine”.

    • Edit
      Burke

      I agree. We play how we learn. Our narcotics unit conducts more entries per year than all the SWAT teams within our county. Scenario based training in this area is vital for us to learn and adapt to the ever-changing drug world that we work in.

  • Edit
    Burke

    Training for the unimaginable is key to being able to adapt to VUCA. Running drills on every possible scenario, while monotonous, is the best way to combat the volatility of the job we took on.

    • Edit
      Lieutenant John Champagne

      I agree with the training. We also need to make sure that we focus our training efforts on those that are not as confident and build them up to make the correct decisions in high-stress environments.

      • Edit
        Major Stacy Fortenberry

        Continuously training the more competent while letting those less competent "off the hook" seems to happen way to often. We do need to do a better job on training those who are not comfortable rather than letting others take the lead all the time.

    • Edit

      I agree. I think the key is to design training that emphasizes adaptive decision making and mental agility. The end point, is to get leaders to think "outside of the box".

  • Edit
    McKinney

    This module was a new principle to me as it relates to V.U.C.A. The material allowed me to explore ideas on ways to improve and incorporate certain aspects learned through this module with the training I am involved with. I believe that allowing your team members to be accountable in their decision-making when involved with minimal risk situations such as training will give them an understanding of what to expect when a chaotic situation presents itself. In my opinion, it is necessary to have a standard operating procedure that can help guide and govern us, but we must emphasize that being adaptable to the environment is also essential when unknown circumstances reveal itself. Having trained personal in this principle will allow them to make adjustments and to forecast a winnable situation.

    • Edit

      VUCA was a new idea for me as well. I like the concepts presented on effective and adaptive decision making. I believe these concepts along with identifying if the agency is supportive of thinking outside the box or would punish failure is important when encouraging teams to solve challenges.

    • Edit
      Adam Gonzalez

      Funny, some of what you shared is some of what I posted about as well :) I learned through your post as well regarding the SOP's necessary for most chaotic situations that can arise. Gordon Graham is credited with saying that predictable is preventable. Surely, we can organize as teams and cover most of the more predictable instances that can come up as well as develop new SOP's for more chaotic events that each agency/area could be more susceptible to. Thank you for your post!

  • Edit
    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    Having a training program instituted and revolving around countering the effects of VUCA would greatly benefit not only new police recruits, season officers and leaders. By having this training and experience everyone will be better prepared to make sound decisions with successful outcomes. I think sometimes as law enforcement agencies we focus to much on just allowing officer to develop this skill through experience. We as leaders and officers can become more adept by developing training programs that deal with the concept of VUCA.

  • Edit
    Lieutenant John Champagne

    The way we train to deal with a chaotic situation will help to determine how we will react when faced with a real situation. When we conduct force on force scenario training within our departments, it is imperative to allow every officer to take the lead and make the needed decisions in a high stress environment. We all have those officers that love to stay in the shadows for this type of training. The only way for them to learn is to be placed in the front!

    • Edit
      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      I agree with letting every officer taking the lead. It seems like the same old ones step up and others just stay in the shadows. I'm glad our training staff includes everyone in their training scenario's.

    • Edit
      Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you, we have officers that all but refuse to participate in the training conducted during in service. This is the only way to learn is by actually doing the scenarios themselves.

    • Edit
      Royce Starring

      I agree training will give us a idea of how to handle real life situations, however every situation will have a different resoulation.

  • Edit
    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    Creating a culture in the department of not overly punishing for mistakes is a very noble idea. Understanding that mistakes will happen and managing them without going overboard goes a long way in empowering people to handle the situation they are confronted with rather than freeze up and become nothing more than vessels to pass information up and down the chain.

    • Edit
      michael-beck@lpso.net

      If your policies are very closed off and matter of fact, you right, the agency will freeze up, give a knee jerk "no matter what" command, and stifle growth. Knowing that mistakes will happen and as long as we can correct them, there is no harm in allowing people to be innovative in problem solving. Imagine a hundred years ago if all agencies had a policy which said no one would ever drive a car... When agencies allow themselves to evolve, then its a win-win for everyone.

    • Edit
      guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      I agree. I've seen many times where a leader finds out about a mistake is made by a deputy and the first thought of the leader is figure out what discipline they are going to give to the officer. Sometimes, discipline is not always the best course of action.

      • Edit
        mmoscona@floodauthority.org

        So true, to many supervisors and agencies thrive on the negative instead of using mistakes as what could be a teaching moment in effective decision making.

  • Edit
    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    Hitting a target you can't see or describe can be a daunting task. All we can do is train for a wide variety of possibilities with focus on the most common ones.

  • Edit

    It was interesting to listen to how Capt. Dugan broke down the decision making process for adaptive decision making. the concept of understanding the essence of the concept of behavior change is important. Making sure that the response is effective makes a lot of sense. I have always agreed that change for its own sake is not productive. I also was fully agree that the culture that surrounds the change has a lot to do with how the change can be implemented. The module highlighted how some agencies encourage thinking outside the box while others punish failure which can diminish a team members willingness to try something new. As a leader it is important to keep that in mind when the team has an idea.

  • Edit
    michael-beck@lpso.net

    I do not believe I have ever thought about formally teaching problem solving as an actual class. As a field training officer, you give your recruits scenarios to see how they will react to a given situation, especially while in route to a particular call for service. Once on scene, the situation may be completely different than predicted, so you are forced to adapt to the new problem. In the terms of being a leader, these hypothetical “what ifs” are always playing in your mind. Having a good understanding of what someone might encounter could be of use when trying to find a good resolution to any problem. That’s the nature of law enforcement and why this job never gets old. There are always new challenges to overcome and almost every day provides these challenges. Constant learning is the nature of the beast.

  • Edit
    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In the learning of module 5 learning that each element of vuca presents its own difficulties. Knowing that those difficulties magnify and create chaos when combined.

  • Edit
    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    Our office does a lot of scenario training. I feel like our department puts our deputies in the best position for success. We all make mistakes. That is why we train for chaotic situations. We train to correct mistakes. Our department’s training staff is always coming up with new ways and situations for us to train. Everyone is involved and participates in each sceniro. It is very important to adapt to and train for different situations that may arise in our everyday duties. Outstanding module.

  • Edit
    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    The importance of scenario-based training is of the utmost importance. Trainers must pay attention to current events, trends, real-life situations experienced by our own officers and their opinions in order to effectively lay out a script in a controlled environment. Then, after the scenario is completed, we must pay attention to the viewpoints from all sides in order to determine if we are doing it right, or must adapt to a change. The VUCA concept is nothing new to law enforcement; however, it is a good comparison to how to verbalize the manner of which chaotic events take place.

    • Edit
      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      So true. Keeping our training relevant to the ever-changing culture and climate of our community is crucial for the safety of our officers and community. For instance, the very same week you all were teaching officer down training we had to use it within our own agency. Officer's ability to respond appropriately and effectively in that situation saved the lives of many people that day.

  • Edit
    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    I feel every department should implement scenario based training if they are not already. Looking back at both agencies I have worked for, I think the only scenario based training has been active shooter. We need to expand to more scenarios.

    • Edit
      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree, officers will learn more from a scenario-based training than a classroom setting. When we do an active shooter scenario, we incorporate officer down training, negotiations, medical triage and first aid, incident command, and communications. The more training and resources we can provide for our officers, the more successful they will encounter.

  • Edit
    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    Scenario-based training is essential to implement in police training. One of the most significant scenario-based training that my department trains on is an active shooter. The officers need to play different roles and see the V.U.C.A. first hand. Officers then can see what they did wrong and how to improve. Any event on a large scale can, officers can apply incident command techniques, knowledge, and skills for a better outcome.

  • Edit
    Chasity Arwood

    Adaptive decision making is a great benefit to both rookie and seasoned officers. This type of scenario type training can be conducted in a controlled environment rather than a volatile situation. While, my department does conduct this type on training on an annual basis, the number of scenarios conducted is limited due to time constraints.

    • Edit
      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      Chasity, we run into the same problem due to time constraints. We conduct a large scale exercise every two years with multiple entities from school system to local industry, but can never get a commitment for longer than a two-hour block from most of these outside entities.

    • Edit

      It is hard to balance training with the dollars needed sometimes. When it comes down to it many agencies struggle with this. We do a massive active-shooter drill every two years that includes multiple agencies. In the odd years we still do training that supplements the skills officers need during a mass-scale event. When things fall apart you fall back on what you were trained. Make it worth while because that is what you officer will do.

  • Edit
    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    Our agency does a large scale exercise every two years for active shooter training. This goes in conjunction with our annual training, but bi-annually on this large of scale. We have done this since 2006 and I have had the opportunity to be on both sides as a responder and coordinator of the event. The scenario encompasses, police, fire, ems, hospital staff, local industry, and other entities responding to a mass casualty event as the result of an active shooter. The object is to create chaos and V.U.C.A. allows us to judge our response and reactions to an event of this magnitude. We then take what we learned and incorporate areas that need improvement in future in-service training.

    • Edit

      I have participated in your agencies large scale active shooter training and it definatly will challenged your ability to make decisions on the fly. Your agency does an great job on providing multiple issues that are constantly evolving throught the drill making it increasingly effective. It definatley helped me in looking further into the future when making decisions.

  • Edit
    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    Things in a law enforcement officer tour of duty are constantly changing and officers need to be able to make quick decisions all the time. This type of VUCA training should start in the academy and continue through in service training throughout an officer's career.

  • Edit
    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    My agency has large scale exercises for active shooter situations. We have the participation from the school board, local fire departments, and ems to help facilitate the training experience. It is as close to real-world as possible and gives us a fundamental basis in which we can draw upon if an event would take place. The training is invaluable.

  • Edit
    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    Adaptive Decision making training is extremely good training. The life like situations help officers learn what to do and not to do in a controlled environment instead of in real life and real time. This greatly improves the odds for the officer in a serious situation.

    • Edit
      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      This is also something I built into my FTO time, I used to talk to my trainee on the way to a call, and go over the various different scenarios and ways that we could rectify them upon arrival.

  • Edit
    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    The concepts presented in this area of policing are some of the most important skills needed for law enforcement officers. The ability to adapt to chaotic fluid situations and to make changes that promote effective responses without unnecessary danger is vital. I was also intrigued by the information presented about agencies who dogmatically punish failure hindering the ability to allow people to develop adaptive decision making skills.

  • Edit

    This module was informative and interesting. It is important for a leader to respond to chaos by using the skill of adaptive decision making. I agree that a leader should be able to anticipate change and promptly deal with it.

    • Edit
      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree because, in chaotic situations, there are many personalities that can bring on change.

  • Edit
    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    This lecture helps share that adaptive decision making is imperative in a chaotic situation. because of the ever-changing events that take place.

  • Edit
    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    In law enforcement, each day is and adventure and can differ from the last. With the multitude of situations, personalities and ever-changing unique needs presented, adaptive decision making and our problem solving abilities are vital for our survival and continued success as an organization.

    Our agency recognizes the need for officers to be able to draw from their training and experiences to continue protect and serve our community in these volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times. We agency encourages and provides various classroom and scenario training as tools for people to draw from to lead in these constantly changing, unpredictable, and chaotic situations.

    • Edit
      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      definitely agree that if training and scenarios can improve our ability to adapt, then we should spend every available free time in this self training what-if training with each other.

  • Edit

    As we look at our VUCA, and what we can do to counter it, this is a mandatory skill that we must have as a leader. Furthermore, training is the key to countering this. VUCA. Another thing is that we can not always predict the VUCA model that will be thrown at us, however by having good adaptive decision-making skills we will have the upper advantage.

    • Edit
      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      The most successful leaders are able to both anticipate a change and promptly deal with it. Developing these types of leaders then becomes an imperative for law enforcement organizations locally, regionally and nationally.

  • Edit
    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    Seems like we must make sure first that our organization is receptive to allow for trail and error on the innovated and ingenuity with decision making. With the correct training for the organization as a whole and then focused training individually, we should see great improvement. Very interesting to see what factors contribute to the ability to counter your VUCA. This module brings decisive, adaptable and improvising leadership to different levels and relates them together also. All great qualities to have an encourage others to explore with understanding.

  • Edit
    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    During my roll calls, I often do "what If" discussions especially if a situation was either handled by one of my officers or comes to me through some other source. I find it to be effective training to get officers thinking about different ways of doing things. I had never considered what we deal with almost everyday as having it's own term until this module. Learning how to counter VUCA is definitely vital to what we do in law enforcement.

  • Edit

    Scenario-based training provides law enforcement officers with the best environment to learn how to think adaptively. Throughout our career, we have been told that the way you train and prepare for work is vital for your success on the street. When we place officers in chaotic situations and control the level of stress, it provides them a better chance of success. As the officers grow and develop, the stressors can increase to ensure further growth and development. In these situations, if the officer makes a fatal mistake, they can see the effects of their decision and provide them a better understanding of how to make better decisions.

    • Edit
      clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      I agree with your comment. The more you train, whether it is sucessful or a fail, it puts your thinking process through stress and if prepared, you should better respond when chaotic situations arise.

    • Edit
      Brad Strouf

      I agree. Unfortunately not all agencies are aware of the necessity of this type of scenario based training. If you are fortunate enough to work in an agency that appreciates the importance of adaptive decision making, then you are more likely to have effective decision making officers and supervisors.

  • Edit
    Royce Starring

    I have always known about the concept of VUCA but did referred to it as such. The police has always had to deal deal with chaos and while dealing with it had to interpret it, adapt to it, and resolve it on the fly. I believe you become more successful with experience. Training can expose you to some of the basic types of situations but we all know that each situation no matter how similar can be very different in how to resolve it.

    • Edit
      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      Training can definitely expose you to the basic and the more intense calls. If you fail miserably in a safe controlled , then you've found a weakness to work on.

  • Edit
    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    I've worked under VUCA situations, just never had a proper name to identify it. I am constantly working scenarios in my head while heading to a call and off duty. Call them mental exercises, i find it useful i have a playbook when in route to a call. Some times the plays work and most time i have to adapt on the fly. I find scenario based training extremely valuable, if done correctly it can create the same emotions you may encounter on the streets.

      • Edit
        Mitchell Gahler

        There are many unknowns in our profession, and the "what if" factor is always in play in every situation. I agree that there are many unplanned events that we respond to on a daily basis. If we continue to train regarding different scenarios, it will prepare us for real-life events. There's always room for improvement, and we have to adapt in order to stay proficient and to possibly protect our lives.

  • Edit

    This module presented concepts that we are all aware of, but may have referred to in another way. This pattern seem like a complimentary component to the OODA loop.

    I believe another important point was presented, in the video, concerning confirmation bias. I know I have seen several projects, at many levels, fail because some one knew that they were right and all the data was wrong. I have been victim of this myself and it reminds you to do your due diligence.

  • Edit

    This video does well to show how concepts and ideas at an agency cab be born and dead upon arrival when they are spoken about. When the systems in place allow people to evaluate change and/or the application of these issues, data and driven ideas that are proven need to be vetted and applicable to today's modern policing

  • Edit
    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    The adaptive decision making in chaotic situations is taught through my agency. As we have learned through training, the mental process and reacting by situational training is a need. being put through scenario training better prepares for officers to adapt to situations, that although do change and can't be predicted, the stress of the training prepares us to better react when put in a fluid, chaotic situation.

  • Edit
    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    The ability to adapt to a changing situation is something that we all need to understand. We deal with people that through cause and affect require us to adapt to the situation. We need to be able to adapt to the situation changing. Through training we need to sharpen this ability. Our agency does an active shooter drill that is as close to real life as you can get. This training and other like that can help to aid in a person decision making ability.

  • Edit
    Lt. Mark Lyons

    I found this training module to be very informative. Although I had never heard of the term VUCA before, I have always utilized the principles discussed in this training session. I have always viewed it as having a tactical mind set. Anticipating the unexpected and thinking of all the "what if" scenarios. I always try to have a mental game plan on how and what to do in response to what ever situation I encountered.

  • Edit
    Adam Gonzalez

    I have only heard the term VUCA from previous National Command and Staff College training, it has reminded me of the need for this exact type of critical understanding, thinking and training! I am also reminded of the acronym itself: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. Like so many within our profession, I strive to "What if" situations to no end, or as my supervisor likes to say, "Keep your head on a swivel!". This kind of preparation is necessary to remain vigilant and ready for such VUCA-style situations that can occur at any time in our service.

  • Edit
    Henry Dominguez

    I really like the VUCA concept and the explanation of the counter measures to combat it. One of the comments called it mental exercises which is great, because we must always train our self to prepare for the unexpected. We do this by critical thinking as explained in the module. These scenario based training you can do as a group or even individually is a great tool for us to use in preparing for situations.

    • Edit
      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      Our agency practice life like "what if" scenario(s) when we have In-service training every year. I find this practice prepares our officers to mentally ready for any situation.

    • Edit
      Frank Acuna

      Excellent points sir. One of my Sergeants while I was a young cop backed me on a traffic stop. He asked me which occupant of the car I was preparing to shoot first. I was puzzled by his question, until he explained that I should always have a plan to kill the people I encounter, in case they plan to kill me. I have used this mental rehearsal ever since, always having a plan to react or defend myself, using deadly force if needed in every situation I have encountered on the job. Be polite and professional, but always have a plan to kill them if needed.

  • Edit
    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    In this module each element of VUCA presents its own set of difficulties. These difficulties magnify and create chaos when combined. Police have to understand how chaos affects policing and how to counter it which begins by and in developing all officers, especially new recruit, to deal with its compounding and confounding realities.

  • Edit
    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    The ability to adapt to a changing situation is something that we all need to recognize. We gain an understanding of changing situations through training. We use this to sharpen our minds to the different situations we face day by day. Our agency does an active shooter drill that is close to reality life as you can realize. There are real life scenarios that we undergo as our agency host scheduled post academy and In- service trainings. This training amongst other trainings can help to aid in a person decision-making ability.

  • Edit

    Adaptive or scenario training is crucial for you to work out your operational kinks, and root out which leaders are not up to the challenge. This type of training helps everyone grasp the pitfalls that await if not mentally prepared. Leadership can also address gaps in their performance and take the steps to close them. It is better to fail in training and learn than fail in application while trying to learn.

    • Edit
      Lt. Marlon J Shuff

      You're absolutely correct. It's ok to fail in training. This is why training should never be a "dog and pony show." The training scenario should be difficult and complex enough so that mistakes are made, and lessons are learned. That's what training is designed for.

    • Edit

      I agree, its far better to fail in training then in combat. While we cannot foresee every possible challenge, we do uncover a lot of nuances that we would otherwise have neglected. Especially when it comes to perishable skills or gear we seldom use. I have seen an experienced officer fail to properly function their patrol rifle during a training exercise. Darn glad it wasn’t the real deal. Not only does exercises provide the officers an opportunity to see what they need to brush up on, it allows leaders an opportunity to diagnose procedural and personnel issues.

  • Edit
    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    As law enforcement, we should train to counter V.U.C.A. when it occurs. My agency hosts an active shooter drill at one of our schools, which is very intense. The scenario takes months to plan and is an ever changing and fluid situation. It is about as real as it gets without using real bullets. It shows people their strengths and weaknesses in their ability to be an adaptive decision maker.

    • Edit
      Joseph Flavin

      We also host active shooter drills and try to do it at a different school in the county each year. We use simunition and have a debrief at the end of it. I've found it to be extremely beneficial for those involved in it.

  • Edit
    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    It is very important for us to train and develop our personnel to use adaptive decision making. The “What if” factor is real in survival. If we are unable to adapt and change our behavior or reaction changes in a situation, it is possible that our decision making skills would be hindered.

  • Edit
    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    While others have mentioned the importance of training, specifically scenario-based training, I feel that "real world" experience adapting and making decisions in a VUCA environment is required. The issue I observe in reality-based training is that the element of jeopardy is missing. Those engaged in this type of training are aware that a wrong decision will not lead to serious injury or death. While there is some "stress inoculation," when simunition and other training aids are used, the jeopardy element is still missing. For this reason, I feel actual exposure to these types of chaotic environments is necessary to hone one's ability.

    • Edit
      James Schueller

      That is very true. Even in a live fire environment, there is still a level of safety built in. But by taking these exercises as close as we can to the real thing, we build experience and confidence that cannot be gained in anything other than real-world scenarios. We would all rather see mistakes made at the training level so that we can build our adaptability for when that time actually comes. Simply discussing the elements and definition of VUCA helps us understand and better prepare for what we face as Law Enforcement professionals.

  • Edit
    Joseph Flavin

    Scenario based training provides the most realistic environment you can replicate without it being the real thing. Adaptive decision making comes with experience and the more experience you can get, whether it's real world or artificial (scenario based training), the better you will become at making decisions in a VUCA environment. When I was an FTO I would stress the importance of mentally rehearsing different scenarios in your head. We would also talk them out and I would throw wrenches into the scenario to make them think on their feet. The best experience is real world experience but there is benefit to scenario based training.

    • Edit

      I agree with your comments. The best training we can get is real-world situations. However, we cannot plan for all events we may encounter. I conducted my FTO training with other officers very similar to yours. Because I was not able to set up scenario's all of the time for new recruits, I would oftentimes ask them "what if" questions. At least then I was mentally preparing them and getting them to think through situations they may potentially encounter.

    • Edit
      Timothy Sandlin

      I agree practical exercise and experience create learned tactics, behavior and skills. Mental preparation and its ability to enhance capability. Excellent points.

  • Edit

    This module introduced us to VUCA which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity which is often what we face in chaotic situations. It talked about the importance of these decisions both organizationally and individually. It also discussed how training can play a role in helping to work through VUCA. As a former SWAT member, I agree with the concepts of scenario-based training and mind training, what-if scenarios. In addition debriefing situations and go over areas where you can improve or get better. These types of continued training scenarios and debriefs prepare a person's mind to think through critical incidents where an individual continually analyzes potential outcomes.

    • Edit
      Kelly Lee

      Totally agreed Sheriff, in todays world now more than ever we need to be adapting and conforming through real life scenario based training to prepare us for what lies ahead. Law Enforcements old way of training is probably a thing of the past.

  • Edit
    James Schueller

    The concept of adaptive decision-making has always been a part of policing, but even more so in today's ever and fast changing environment. Scenario-based training and though-process training are the best ways to prepare for all of the "What If" scenarios that can and do get thrown at us. The acronym of VUCA covers the complexity of what we face as Law Enforcement Officers, and it is from these definitions that we learn to adapt and grow. This type of training allows us to not only make mistakes in a "safe" environment, but also to utilize the mistakes as an opportunity to grow even more through feedback, discussion, and suggestions on how to improve. All of this better prepares us to react to complex situations when they occur in the real world because we have already run through them in our minds, in exercises, or both.

    • Edit
      Christopher Lowrie

      Great points James. Failing in safe training environments is the key to succeeding in the real world.

  • Edit
    Eduardo Palomares

    In reviewing the adaptive thinking module, I realized why scenario based training is very important. The vast majority of training should be set up to be hands on. In using adaptive thinking, we have mitigate and respond better to uncertain situations that are rapidly evolving. In this profession, it is imperative that we counter VUCA if we want to survive. Law enforcement and other first responders could benefit from more hands on or scenario based training in order to better respond to chaos. I am a true believer of muscle memory and repetition. While we can’t prepare for all situations, we could train ourselves and our people for mental sharpness.

  • Edit
    Mitchell Gahler

    In the module, adaptive decision making, one of the principles explained was to, “expose students to challenging scenarios simulating those expected to be encountered and which are designed to incorporate a need to recognize and adapt to a change in the situation – moderated discussions, practical applications, decision making exercises and free play exercises.” It is important to adapt as situations evolve, and an ideal practice to create efficiency is to actively train in multiple scenarios. This practice will not only prepare you for unique situations, but they will also prepare you in repetition when these situations arise.

  • Edit
    Frank Acuna

    I enjoyed the lecture, specifically when discussing the culture of the organization and how it can inhibit or promote the ability of its leaders to develop their abilities to adapt. If the organization penalizes or ridicules you for attempting to organize chaos, then you will rarely attempt to do so. If the culture of your organization encourages you to fail and learn and grow, you will likely see more leaders working to become more adaptable. Critical Incident debriefs are great methods of learning and allowing those involved to talk about what worked, what didn't, and what they would do over if they could. These debriefs should be done in a manner where nobody gets their feelings hurt so that everyone feels as though they can come forward with constructive criticism.

    • Edit
      Ryan Lodermeier

      I like the point you made about some agencies not allowing their leaders to use creativity when making decisions. Not only does it bring progress to a halt but I also think it would create a stale environment where the only encouragement would be to leave and seek employment else where.

      • Edit
        Chad Blanchette

        I agree. I think by allowing the leaders to come up with new an innovative ways to solve problems gives them some ownership.

    • Edit
      Durand Ackman

      You are correct, critical incident debriefs are wonderful for those involved. Especially when they get the opportunity to discuss what worked, didn't work and what they may try different in the future. Unfortunately, failure can be the best method of learning. The key is, like you said, it needs to be done in a way that is respectful to all involved.

  • Edit
    Samantha Reps

    Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) was described as chaos and it falls on LE to understand it, prepare for it, mitigate it, and minimize the disruptive and destabilizing effects of it.
    Adaptive decision making is necessary to train for and we must train staff with scenario based training. Giving staff the opportunity to learn in a safe environment on what works and what doesn't in real life situations is needed.

  • Edit
    Ryan Lodermeier

    VUCA reminded of the constant phrase I was taught during NTOA classes...Tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. This module made me appreciate that much more an agencies willingness to let leaders solve problems in a creative fashion. For the most part our administration not only allows this creativity, but they encourage it. In an ever changing world we need leaders who are not afraid to incorporate solutions that are creative and effective

    • Edit
      Ryan Manguson

      I agree Ryan. Sometimes the more creative and outside the box thinking create someone of the most effective solutions.

  • Edit
    Chad Blanchette

    I think at some level, an effective leader has already been utilizing the tools taught in this module. The scenario based training is certainly effective.

  • Edit
    Kyle Turner

    VUCA can be applied not only to to real-life training, as many have mentioned, but to part of the hiring process in examining a potential recruit's capacity for decision making and adaptability to change. Recruits who have a low natural capacity for change, quick decision making, and adaptation may not function well in a law enforcement environment. I also think we tend to assume that all "VUCA' type situations are in the field but they may also be organizationally based. Recent examples include changes in political winds - such as the defund the police movement in some cities, fast moving protests that erupt in response to an officer use of force, etc. How a leader and organization responds to these fast moving and uncertain changes, whether that is in the form of pushing back on the politicians, increasing transparency, quickly developing community outreach programs, addressing community concerns, etc (although most likely way too late), can have significant consequences to the organization and leadership.

  • Edit
    Kelly Lee

    VUCA is the total chaos and it falls on law enforcement to understand it, prepare for it, mitigate it and minimize the disruptive and destabilizing effects of it. This is what all of our training is for, even when we've been in law enforcement for 20 plus years and think we have all the training we need, that simply isn't the case. In today's quickly changing world we now more than ever need to be on top of our game and be training in practical applications and scenarios.

  • Edit
    Ryan Manguson

    Over my career I have seem more adaptive decision making integrated into scenario based training within our agency. I think this approach is much more affective as teaching to think and react in evolving situations.

    • Edit
      Paul Gronholz

      I agree, training has to include scenario based training. A challenge is also getting leaders and officers to recognize the importance of training and come to training with an open mind and willingness to learn.

    • Edit
      Kaiana Knight

      At our agency, we do a lot of scenario based training also. I think it is very helpful, because you can see the officer's reaction and you can provide training on how to react in certain situations.

  • Edit
    Paul Gronholz

    This was an interesting module, especially for me assigned to the training division. One of the challenges with developing training is making it relevant and dynamic enough so that officers have to think on their feet and adapt quickly. The training should closely mirror the challenges that officer's face on the street. Currently, the focus is on how to develop training so that officer's recognize safer, tactically sound ways to approach situations.

    • Edit
      Thomas Martin

      Trainers can use the crawl, walk, and run method when incorporating scenario based training. Crawl consists of a scenario being written, and it is fully explained to the student (including the desired outcome). In walking, the instructor conducts the role play as the “primary officer” showing the desired behavior and actions while the student serves as a “back up officer.” Running takes place immediately afterwards and the student is put under stress with brief calisthenics, and is forced to conduct the same scenario they have just witnessed. It is a great way to teach a new skill, combining performance objectives inside scenarios, with measurable outcomes.

  • Edit
    Durand Ackman

    In today's world adaptive decision making is more important than ever. It has always been important in law enforcement but times are changing quicker than ever before and officers need to be on their toes, evaluating their environment and able to make quality decisions quickly. It is important for these officers to get training time so they can prepare for various situations they will face while on duty.

    • Edit
      Marshall Carmouche

      With the quicker changing time for law enforcement we must be able to be quicker adapters and quicker problem solvers. Unfortunately, we must make extremely fast decisions at times and sometimes with unfavorable results.

  • Edit

    I think the most interesting item addressed in the module was the while training is absolutely key to success, it is limited by the individual's characteristics. While training may enhance one's ability to adapt and react, they are limited by personality and natural deposition. It is to the leader's to identify those limitations and develop action plans for enhancing same.

    • Edit
      Maja Donohue

      I agree with your point about limitations. We must understand ourselves well enough to recognize where our natural abilities are and where we can improve. As the module said, there are three key factors that make is possible for an agency to reap maximum benefits of an adaptive mindset. Training and organizational culture help, but the leader’s natural tendencies make a big difference as well.

    • Edit
      Robert Schei

      I agree. This area was spot on and you can see it play out with your staff and peers. Some need to work in the same way every day to be successful why others continue to learn and grow and challenge the status quo. Leadership must meet people where they are at and then develop plans for development.

  • Edit
    Major Willie Stewart

    V.U.C.A. was originally created by Dr. Mitch Javidi and Commander Sid Heal as a police tactic to better understand and address the new reality faced by police officers. I hadn’t heard of it before seeing this module, but V.U.C.A. stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Granted today’s society and media has fueled these factors, observing how police leaders should build on preparing officers and organizations for what we know as unstable environments. This was a great module.

  • Edit
    Major Willie Stewart

    I agree with this, however our department is good about allowing influence and leadership change. Our leadership style is leaning to the new ideas of creating more effective leaders as we adapt and prepare for the new police culture.

  • Edit
    Timothy Sandlin

    In this module we learn about VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity as it relates to adaptive decision making. We covered the 3 steps to effective decision making; factors influencing adaptive decision making counter VUCA tactics; and 2 principles to developing a training program for adaptive decision making skills. All of this results in developing people to become much better problem solvers in our profession.

  • Edit

    This module further solidifies the need for scenario based training and round table training. My take on it was the need to prepare for the unknown and the more scenarios you explore the more likely you will have an effective solution for new situations baring similarities to the training. As well as the ones who make calm, fast and quality decisions are typically those who have been exposed to situations and continually consider the “what-if’s”. Working in an agency that not only supports that but promotes its as well produce the best leaders capable of adaptive decision making.

    • Edit
      Ronald Smith

      Nathan, I agree with your ideas, as a reality-based instructor I know the benefit of repetitive training. The only difference is around me we don't use 'what ifs' we use 'win this' and that is what learning to win the situation is about. VUCA unpredictable chaos simulator and scenario training help bring calm to the chaos.

  • Edit

    This is an area where the military is far ahead of public safety in training for VUCA. The Army has been adding VUCA to training evolutions at every level. This applies to everything from field training exercises to war gaming scenarios on a terrain map. Granted the military has a much bigger budget, but public safety can still replicate much of the training cheaply by using low tech solutions.

    • Edit
      Nicole Oakes

      This is incredible! We have come so far and with more and more artificial intelligence, the training simulations are just going to be more life like.

    • Edit
      Gregory Hutchins

      The point on cheaply training using low-tech solutions is excellent in that leadership in our profession continues to create roadblocks towards crisis-proficient officers and leaders. The mentality that exists is that one needs outside “professional” agencies or fancy technology as this the only way to develop better officers and leaders. The main requirement is to address and support individual growth in not accepting things at face value, accepting risk, and becoming leaders who want to problem-solve (Dugan, 2017). The military’s success is related to the organizational culture. Leaders at all levels understand the leader’s intent, and through training, they are encouraged and rewarded for using creativity, ingenuity, and innovation. Advancement uses one’s potential to demonstrate the ability to be proactive, forward-thinking, acceptant of risk, and engaged. In the end, it starts with the organization’s leadership empowering and engaging their personnel to deviate from antiquated practices to meet the challenges of tomorrow, today.
      Dugan, K., (2017). Credible Leadership. National Command and Staff College.

  • Edit
    Nicole Oakes

    I have not heard of VUCA. I am very pleased this topic was included in this training. It makes sense why we train the way we do, so that we already have an idea in critical incidents on how to be successful.

    • Edit

      I had not heard of it either. Now that I've been exposed to this module and a few Google searches, I have a much better understanding. I think we need to take the principles and bring them back to our agencies to assist our leaders.

  • Edit
    Christopher Lowrie

    It is critical that law enforcement agencies remain adaptive. Too often police departments are creatures of habit and people are afraid to implement change. Organizations need to reward creativity and innovation.

    • Edit
      Scott Crawford

      Exactly!!! I never understand why we are happy just to except things how they are and never make changes to improve our methods. The “bad” guys are constantly changing their tactics. We should be as well.

  • Edit

    I had not heard about the concept of VUCA prior to watching this presentation. The acronym succinctly describes the different factors that influence decision making in the heat of the moment. For me personally, I keyed in on the simple concepts of adaptive decision making; not changing and driving on anyway, the importance of not making it harder than it already is, and not making changes to just to make a change. How many times have we seen each of these in action? The blind adherence to a plan in spite of the obvious need to change. The implementation of a change that is worse than what originally precipitated the change in the first place. And my favorite, change to say you changed something or to look good on your yearly evaluation. Lastly, I think the 3 things that influence decision making; the leader themselves, organizational rules, and the extent of training are undervalued and sometimes dismissed by senior leaders. In many instances, these same senior leaders ignore the limiting climate of their organizations, over inflate the value of classroom training, and fail to see the value of staff development. It is our job as leaders to set people up for success not propel them towards failure.

  • Edit
    Robert Schei

    I enjoyed the section on countering V.U.C.A. tactics - organizations who routinely encourage and reward creativity, ingenuity, and innovation not only encourage such practices among those assigned but serve to attract those who desire to work in such an environment. I certainly agree, having he ability to be creative and flexible in your training regimen and decision making is certainly a bonus however I agree that organizations can not just say they do this in policy or in their mission statement. Forward thinking, observant employees will discover the differences between what you say and what you do immediately.

  • Edit
    Maja Donohue

    Adaptive decision-making is about proactively preparing for VUCA moments. Although classroom training can help improve this skill to some extent, real experience comes from problem-solving in every-day situations. Just like any other skill, the more you do it, the better you get at it. Taking advantage of hands-on opportunities (even if they are simulated) to build confidence and competence in leaders can pay dividends in high stress situations. Of course, an adaptive mindset comes more naturally to some. Personal traits and characteristics can either enhance or detract from our ability to adapt, but the organizational culture can play a big role in supporting and encouraging creative problem-solving.

  • Edit

    We have to be adaptive as leaders and enable and train our leaders to overcome VUCA. That is the gist of what I get out of this module. We can't move forward in this era of law enforcement without preplanning our escape routes when VUCA comes into play. There are volatile moments daily in our profession, now add all the other "unique" elements currently in place (i.e. police reform laws). Our jobs are becoming more VUCA every day.

    Training is one way we can try to counter VUCA. Simulated training, tabletop exercises, and decision-making exercise will help us navigate VUCA.

    • Edit
      Andy Opperman

      I like your comment about training. I do not think departments put enough emphasis on training, even if it is only a 15 minutes roll call training. Training is extremely important, but unfortunately it is one of the first things cut in budgets, and one of the first things looked at during lawsuits, as leaders in the future we must look to the experts on our departments in different skill sets and give them the flexibility to develop regular on shift training, especially when it comes to leadership training.

  • Edit

    Working in public safety we are often put in situations where we need to quickly make a decision that is going to allow for the best outcome. Most of the time, the situations where those fast decisions need to be made are often intense, and could be a matter of life or death for someone. The more we train on making decisions and being confident, hopefully that will allow those people making the decisions better and it may also allow others to have confidence in them knowing that they have some training and experience. Training should never stop and the things that need to be trained on will always be changing. It is important for agencies to stay current on topics or scenarios that may be beneficial and make sure that those within their agency receive proper training. That will benefit the organization and the community that they serve.

    • Edit
      Steve Mahoney

      Scenario base training is important. We just need to stress to teach the officer to think on their own and realize that we can't come up with every scenario to practice. We need to practice adaptation and not critique if its not the way we would do it

      • Edit
        Eric Sathers

        I agree. Scenario-based training, coupled with real-life experience is crucial to help officers become more adaptable decision-makers.

  • Edit

    Realistic scenario based training is very important to the members of our agencies. These trainings must be taken seriously with documented training records that would assist if future litigation is later determined.

    • Edit
      Matthew Menard

      I agree that documentation is very important. If someone were to come back and ask about trainings dealing with particular issue while examining an officer's actions, we must be able to give details about how they were trained, by whom and when.

    • Edit
      Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      Having recently spent the last the last few years within my organizations training division I can attest that documentation is vital. Fully built out training scenarios with clearly defined training objectives for each scenario must be established and conveyed. Providing feedback after each scenario has also proven to improve officer success.

  • Edit
    Jennifer Hodgman

    While I had not heard of VUCA before this training module, I understand the importance of integrating it into policing. The opportunity to train with scenario based options, allows the best environment for people to be successful, create muscle memory and learn from training mistakes.

    • Edit
      Sergeant Michael Prachel

      As an instructor, scenario based training is how officers really become proficient in skills, think outside the box, and become problem solvers. Like you stated, this is a great opportunity to learn as well, and polish up those skills. As instructors and leaders, we need to be patient and prepare for challenges along the way.

  • Edit
    Brad Strouf

    Scenario based training is critical to developing effective decision making leaders. While certain traits and characteristics might be inherent in a leader, the training will certainly polish these existing skills. Adaptive decision making is crucial for the effective leader.

    • Edit
      Sgt. Samantha Koscher

      I agree! We need to train decision making like we train our other tactics. This will not only benefit us as leaders, but also our staff.

  • Edit
    Matthew Menard

    Understanding the concept of VUCA makes the importance of realistic and applicable training tangible. With the today's ever changing environment, law enforcement is having the deal with situations that 10+ years ago no one would have thought even close to realistic. Keeping this in mind, we can better prepare our staff to dealing with problems by giving them a safe training environment to think things through and find good solutions to sometimes "strange" situations. By doing this they will be quicker to react when faced with similar obstacles and make better decisions.

  • Edit
    Andy Opperman

    This lesson really focused on the abilities of leaders to be effective problem solvers. Its obvious that a good leader possesses experience but have a background in realizing the effectiveness of training their people. As trainers it can be understood why mental repetitions are so important to prepare students. Based on the training lesson mental repetitions for leaders in different environments is also very important. I wonder though at times if positions of power make it more difficult for leaders to accept feedback. Feedback is a tricky thing as people must be able to put their ego’s aside and listen to criticism, and advice.

  • Edit
    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    Many personnel in positions of power (not necessarily leadership) fail to implement feedback from their personnel in this writers opinion due to arrogance. If we as leaders conducted annual command climate surveys within an environment that fostered and nurtured creative thinking and problem solving what would be the end result? In this writers opinion we would see greater organizational success coupled with high morale.

  • Edit
    Marshall Carmouche

    The law enforcement officer's job is filled with chaotic events. For that officer to be able to be adaptive to the elements of VUCA is important to their sanity and more importantly their survival. The officer can also use their adaptiveness in being better problem solvers.

    • Edit
      Travis Linskens

      Good point! All of the officers that exceed the standard seem to have adaptive decision making skills.

  • Edit
    Ronald Smith

    Volatility- things change at the drop of a hat. Uncertainty- the realm law enforcement has been in for a year. Complexity- one cop does it wrong and the rest of us face backlash and unpredictable change. Ambiguity- receiving unclear instructions or having information withheld to cause confusion. VUCA is equivalent to an ordinary day on the swing shift around here. Actually, when I saw the acronym VUCA I compared it to my navy days and FUBAR (Fouled up beyond all recognition). The difference FUBAR was usually preventable, VUCA is a complex mess of uncertainty and volatility stirred up with the ambiguity from who knows where or why. Every officer is a leader, go forth and solve.

  • Edit
    Sergeant Michael Prachel

    The topic of VUCA is a term that most law enforcement officers can to relate to. A valid point made in the module is the concept that police need to understand VUCA; they need to prepare for it, mitigate it, and minimize the disruptive effects. Once they realize the chaos is inevitable and can (and will) show up when you least expect it, they can better adapt to the challenges. This uncertainty can never really be eliminated – what we can do, however, is reduce it and be ready.

  • Edit
    Steve Mahoney

    I like the idea of scenario based training with different inputs that will challenge the status quo. This will cause officers as future leaders to not focus on a linear pattern of decision making but think outside the box to come up with many different ways to solve the issue at hand. We have to be careful and let the person being trained that we can try and come up with as many scenarios possible but it is impossible to come up with them all

  • Edit
    Eric Sathers

    There is no doubt that VUCA happens every day. I do think it is critical to apply effective and adaptive decision-making as a way to counter this chaos. Training is definitely crucial, but I agree with the module that it must also include the organizational environment and the individual.

  • Edit
    Thomas Martin

    We all know that a suspect’s action will always be faster than our reaction. We also know that everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the face. As leaders, we should be conducting scenario based training with our staff members incorporating tabletop, and real world exercises. Training should never be set up to find failures, and apply discipline. Failures during training are good, as they point out our deficiencies needing repair. Training should be used to inspire and prepare us for our next VUCA situation. It should prepare us to expect change, and enhance our reaction time during real world situations.

    • Edit
      Brent Olson

      Thomas,

      I agree the need for scenario based training and real world exercises is paramount. We have many young officers who seem to think they are physically ready for any situation, however have never experienced a real physical fight or been punched in the face.

    • Edit
      Kenneth Davis

      Thomas- I concur= VUCA is tantamount to that "punch in the face"- and we need to train for critical leadership issues just as hard as we do for street encounters!

      Best and stay safe!

      Ken

  • Edit
    Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    Leaders can use adaptive decision making to counteract VUCA situations. I really liked the information provided on the scenario based training for officers to practice making decisions and facing challenges in a controlled environment. This process can help build a officers point of reference for making decisions and build confidence in their decision making abilities.

    • Edit
      Buck Wilkins

      I agree that leaders can use adaptive decision making to counteract VUCA situations, because we have done it for years. But the information was really helpful.

  • Edit
    Paul Brignac III

    I believe that scenario training provides the greatest platform to induce stress in a controlled environment. I have witnessed the effects of induced stress produce an outcome that could have been fatal if it had actually occurred outside of training. Law Enforcement Officers need to experience induced stress and attempt to improve their skills before they are actually needed in real life.

    • Edit
      Chris Crawford

      Agreed. Simulated stress response training should be conducted regularly, even if its just an individual in a car or office. At least get your mind conditioned to anticipate chaos and react.

  • Edit
    Buck Wilkins

    After being in law enforcement for over 27 years I have never heard of VUCA. This was a new experience for me watching this lecture and learning the meaning of VUCA. I can see that it is a good method to use when understood and the process of a situation helps with the problem solving.

  • Edit
    Scott Crawford

    While watching the lecture on the effective decision making, it occurred to me that so many effective decisions I have made in the past have come from my years of experience in the jail. Our training department does a great job with coming up with real life scenario training, this helps younger officers build the confidence they need to make good quick decisions in the future.

    • Edit

      I agree. Its one thing to train something from a book, but to use experience and real life scenarios to put people into the CHAOS that VUCA perpetuates is what's needed. Many people can pass a written or oral exam without issue, but in real life fail miserably in decision making.

  • Edit

    I think the concept of V.U.C.A. is ingrained in police work and that we are constantly trying to mitigate its effect. We simply work in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity but I also think that is a major draw to police work. There are many jobs which are less prone to V.U.C.A., but the monotony of them would be even less tolerable to many police officers. The biggest stress relating to V.U.C.A. I see is when it’s allowed to permeate into the office and is no longer out on the road. I think there is a clear distinction of the disruptive effects V.U.C.A. on the road versus V.U.C.A. in the office can cause.

  • Edit
    Travis Linskens

    Early in my career we had an instructor that caught a lot of grief for developing training that would ultimately reach a “bizarre” standard. He would often be criticized by some for developing scenarios that would “never” happen. His response was that we had mastered the easy material so he wanted to present us with something more complex to make everyone think outside the box.
    I wasn’t sure what to think about it at the time but it always made learning more entertaining. I have more appreciation for his efforts now after reviewing this module.

  • Edit
    Brent Olson

    Prior to this lesson, I hadn't heard of the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) concept. I think it is a great principle that accurately describes the need for leaders to deal with whatever chaos presents itself. The ability to adapt to situations and make effective decisions is critical for any leader. The leader must mitigate the situation and if possible, anticipate the situation before it occurs. For law enforcement, VUCA is such a part of our everyday life that it becomes normal for us.

    • Edit
      Robert Vinson

      You are right about anticipating situations before they come up. One of the most useful tools my FTO gave me was recommending that as I patrolled I run through "what if" scenarios in my head and work through my response to situations mentally before they every occurred. I think we can do the same thing as leaders and as you say, anticipate and mitigate the situations before they actually occur.

      • Edit
        Andrew Peyton

        Robert, even at the point in my career where I am, I constantly play the what-if game. As I'm patrolling, I what if this happened at this location, or what if this call comes out and I am right here. I prepare a response to he potential scenarios i have come up with.

        • Edit
          Zach Roberts

          Andrew,
          The what if game is important no matter what stage of your career. The head on the swivel and constantly thinking what if keeps you and others alive. Being able to think these things out when you are not on a hot call will only better you in the long run.

  • Edit
    Kenneth Davis

    Dugan (2021) discusses the basics of addressing VUCA and reinforces the fact that we must train, as leaders, just as ardently as we do for the street encounter. Before having the opportunity to serve in my present capacity, I encountered some instances where understanding the VUCA concept would have come in handy. Learning from these past experiences, it is definitely a plus to be prepared for any eventuality, The intriguing perspective that is evident in VUCA is that it can be applied to any event. A political issue, public perception pitfalls, internal management issues, etc.

    References

    Dugan, K. (2021). Adaptive decision making as a deliberate counter VUCA tactic.

  • Edit
    Kaiana Knight

    I found this lesson to be very informative. Prior to this lesson, I did not know about the VUCA tactic. However, I think that it is very helpful when it comes to chaos and change. I like how the lesson broke down what each letter meant, and how it defined it. One of my biggest takeaways from the lesson is that adaptive decision making is best understood as the mental process of effectively reacting to change in a situation.

  • Edit
    Jay Callaghan

    As the saying goes...formidable leaders prepare before they are tested...It has been my experience that these formidable leaders accepted that VUCA was going to be a part of their daily routine. Being comfortable working in that environment provided a level of reassurance and confidence to everyone around them when critical incidents and stress appeared.

    • Edit
      Ronald Springer

      Jay,
      I like the way you worded that. And all attitudes are contagious so when a leader keeps their cool their personnel usually find it easier to do so too.

  • Edit
    Ronald Springer

    Captain Dugan explained VUCA and counter VUCA tactics so that I could understand it as a step by step process. He also discussed three major factors in adaptive decision making. Understanding the process makes it easier to manage when the pressure is highest to make quick decisions based on limited information.

    Dugan, K. (2017). Credible leadership. Module 5, Weeks 7 & 8. National Command and Staff College.

    • Edit
      Darryl Richardson

      Ronald, I agree that being able to understand the process makes it easier to manage when the pressure is elevated to make quick decisions.

  • Edit
    Robert Vinson

    I have previously learned about the "ooda loop" (observe - orient - decide - act), but I have never heard of VUCA before. I though it was a good breakdown of what to avoid during decision making.

    • Edit
      Burt Hazeltine

      Agreed. OODA Loop is a very familiar concept and the acronym VUCA is a new way to refer to something law enforcement officers experience often.

  • Edit
    Chris Crawford

    VUCA was a different formula to use in problem solving, but similar to one I have been privy to. I think its important to anticipate problems individually or team training. If for no other reason than to condition your brain to think that way.

    • Edit
      Kyle Phillips

      This module reminded me of what one of my college professors described as anticipated patrol response. When you are on patrol, constantly running different scenarios in your head and what you would do when in the situation with the intent being to prepare yourself mentally and have a prepared plan for when you actually find yourself in the situation. Although the pre-planning isn't always spot on, you are more prepared and generally have a plan to get you going the right direction.

      • Edit
        Jacqueline Dahms

        I've heard it called "training your brain". Visualizing your scenario, your actions what you can predict will happen and consider the unpredictable. I tell staff to consider the first 3 steps you would do in a situation. I like to think it helps, I want to challenge them and I want them to make mistakes, just as I have, to learn from.

  • Edit
    Derek Champagne

    Prior to this lesson, I had never heard of the acronym VUCA. Good leaders have to be able to improvise, adapt, and overcome situations when chaos erupts.

  • Edit
    Burt Hazeltine

    VUCA was a new way to describe something that most law enforcement officers have experienced. These rapidly evolving situations are something that you have to mentally prepare for. Scenario training is a valuable tool to accomplish this. We use it extensively with our Academy Cadets, but accommodating it in in-service is a bit more difficult. With academy cadets, we purposely avoid the bizarre. I can see how the outside-the-box scenarios would put new challenges on our more experienced officers.

  • Edit
    Darryl Richardson

    VUCA is very important in police training as it gives the officer the ability to think on his feet in difficult situations. All new recruits should be taught this strategy, and it should be included into in-service training.

  • Edit
    Andrew Peyton

    I think my agency does a good job of implementing the concept of VUCA through annual in-service and academy scenario training. through these hands-on approaches, we are given a scenario and we must play through them as real life. The controllers have the capability to change the course of the scenario based on the steps and processes we are taking. Often, we are driven to take a position we may not be comfortable in, whether in being incident command or a team leader. This allows us to analyze the situation and act appropriately, often having to change our course of action throughout.

    • Edit
      David Mascaro

      I agree and I this is more beneficial then simply going to the range for annual qualifications. I find that most officers enjoy the training and take away beneficial learning experiences .

  • Edit

    The best training is scenario base training. We can control the scene, outcome, intensity, etc. With the everchanging world we live in, this type of training is needed. We never know what we'll encounter. Every situation is different and unique. We have to be able to adapt and improvise at the drop of a dime. We are usually called when things are chaotic. When stress is added to the equation, individuals tend to revert back to their training. This module really sums up why in law enforcement; we do not like to use the word "routine."

    • Edit
      David Cupit

      I agree with you. I have made it a habit from the beginning to train using scenarios, also run through different scenarios while en-route to a call to cut down on surprises.

  • Edit
    David Mascaro

    My agency has been conducting reality based training for several years now and I believe it's been very successful in instructing the agency on VUCA style training. The scenarios promote thinking, breaking up the tunnel vision and auditory exclusion and most importantly, take action.

    • Edit
      Jose Alvarenga

      My agency has adapted to do the same. Definitely agree that it is best type of training. Its important to remember that getting the decision wrong in scenario training is as good an education as getting it right. We learn to adapt to situations .

  • Edit
    Jose Alvarenga

    We are very fortunate to have a great training division in our agency. Scenario training is often used as it is the best way to learn in a controlled setting. It exposes students to situations that can happen in real world and help you analyze what occurred after the help you adapt and learn. Other then real world training scenario training is the closes you can get.

  • Edit
    Gregory Hutchins

    VUCA, while not a new concept, can create challenges for organizations with an inability to change.
    Basic training is simplistic and must not have numerous inputs or changes to hone standard practices within a recruit. As seen once one graduates, the world is much different from the book. Leadership must recognize that developing the mental processes to react to a VUCA environment or situation effectively needs active field training and in-service programs. Proctored by experienced and capable leaders, these environments can hone one’s ability to think out of the box, accept risk, recognize and adjust to the changing circumstances to make better decisions. Too often, the inability to think out of the box gets officers into situations they or their organizations from which they cannot recover.
    Our profession places people into the worst scenarios imaginable, under the worse conditions, repetitively, yet one does little to better enable their success and longevity in the profession.

    • Edit

      I do agree that this field is so much more different than the book. And although we need to teach our recruits the basics so they have some understanding and be able to start building this library of "training and experience", we can do so much more for them. We have just started a modified FTO program that cycles our recruits off the street during the field training for more practicable application of the information they are learning on the street. It is during these days in between phases they are taught more information to build on what they are experiencing on the street so they know how to apply what they are learning. It's been a great tool for us to build in some rest time for our FTOs, as well. Essentially, we have adapted to continue to teach them while their learning environment changes so they may be better able to adapt and improve decision-making because their learning material becomes more readily practicable.

  • Edit
    David Cupit

    This was a very good module. I have been on the receiving end of over punishment for making a mistake and I will agree that it makes it hard to deviate from the norms and think outside the box. I believe we have to encourage open thinking in decision making.

  • Edit
    Kyle Phillips

    As LEO's we are all tasked with situations where adaptive decision making is necessary to complete the call or assignment. This training for me started with the Field Training Process, where mistakes were common but you were guided through them and learned from them. As an FTO I later incorporated scenario based role play events to fill some of the gaps between calls and training tasks. As a new supervisor, I intend to look for situations and trainings that will provide opportunities for personal growth and expansion of knowledge and skills in adaptive decision making for my staff. I have also seen our Agency increase scenario based trainings department wide in an effort to provide greater exposure and experience for our deputies.

  • Edit

    Again, I feel extremely fortunate to be working for an organization that has supported my development, not just as a leader but as an individual. Although not all of our command staff take the time to address problems from a wholistic view, we have some that truly care about our people and they make a huge impact on the organization. I am happy to have found a mentor that has taken me under their wing and is guiding me to do the same. I'm not perfect, by any means, but I do strive to understand the strengths and weaknesses of those I work closely with and certainly promote an environment where I encourage creativity and ingenuity because I have been afforded those same opportunities. But I feel even more fortunate to have those people that trust me to teach them some things, because I tend to learn more from those I teach! It is through this teaching that I myself become better at challenging scenarios and providing, and receiving, feedback.

    • Edit
      Jeff Byrne

      Agreed, Jonathan. I work at an agency where leadership truly cares about the people who work there, encourage us to think outside of the box when solving problems.

  • Edit
    Jeff Byrne

    Our agency does in-service training which includes VUCA through RBT scenarios. Feedback has always been very positive from staff on how it pushes them to think under stress to solve the problem in a training environment which translates to the real world situation.

  • Edit
    Zach Roberts

    This module really provided me with better understanding the importance of scenario based training. This allows officers the opportunity to think outside the box and provide and be provided feedback for their actions and the decisions they made. This hopefully allows the officers the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.

  • Edit
    Jacqueline Dahms

    I would have to agree with everyone that scenario based training has been especially beneficial in teaching people how to adapt to environments they have never come across. I did however remove it from initial academy training because often times there is not enough understanding of how things are handled in situations that it would often distract from the purpose. I’ve always considered scenario based training as “training your brain”. The downfalls has been receiving productive feedback and building scenarios too complicated.