[Webinar] The Overlooked Art of Briefing

Written by:
Afterburner Team

[Webinar] The Overlooked Art of Briefing

Have you ever wondered why you can have a good plan but it doesn’t execute on time and on target? Make sure you and your team have the Briefing skills you need!

In this month’s webinar, Thor shares tips on why Briefing is so important and why it’s often forgotten. He walks you through the details of this critical step between Planning and Executing so that you and your team can hold an effective Brief every time and improve mission success.

 

Click the image above to view the full 40-minute webinar

Webinar Highlights

Briefing is a short step that is commonly forgotten or just left out. This month we highlight the importance of the Brief and how to hold it most effectively. You will be able to take these skills and apply them to any project or mission you are part of and see first hand how they improve success.

If you don’t have time to watch the full webinar right now or just want to review some highlights, we’ve included a few short clips and their transcriptions below.

Why Brief?

 

Click the image above to view the 4-minute clip

So why should you Brief? The Brief is a critical transition between Planning and Execution. It quickly summarizes and communicates the plan to the team so that there may be a call to action for their Execution. This is critical in order to connect strategy to execution meaning you translate the planning process into activity.

► Briefing holds the team accountable for their actions and Execution and provides clear roles and responsibilities for each team member.
► Briefing builds a common mental model to assure your team is aligned on what success looks like and has a clear plan to achieve that success.
► Briefing with your team improves performance!

Any pilot in the world will agree that they can tell how well a flight/mission will be flown without knowing the pilots, without knowing their skill level, just by sitting in on the Briefing. The Briefing is the biggest indicator of the success of any mission.

The B. R. I. E. F. Breakdown

 

Click the image above to view the 5-minute clip

How does the Briefing occur? We use simplicity to beat complexity so we use the B. R. I. E. F. acronym:

► Brief the Scenario
► Restate the Mission Objective
► Identify Top Threats & Resources
► Execute the Final Plan
► Flexibility and Contingency Plan Review

Brief the Scenario

This is the “Big Picture”; tell me why this mission is important. Give me the Simon Sinek “Why”. You need to inspire your team so come up with a compelling why to get them excited. It’s important to only take 2 – 3 minute here. Remember the Briefing should be kept under 15 minutes total. We often get push-back from clients here but behavioral scientists tell us that until we’ve told someone something 7 times they’re not going to remember it. Instead of thinking “I’ve already told them 3 times” think “I have 4 more times to go before they can articulate it themselves”.

Restate the Mission Objective

This is the easy part. It should be clear, measurable, achievable, and support your High-Definition Destination. Post the mission objective somewhere clear in your work environment where everyone can see it. Make it exciting and fun for the team to accomplish the goal.

Identify Top Threats & Resources

The top threats create a sense of urgency for the team to act because it reminds the team that success is not a guarantee. On the flip side, it’s also creating confidence in the plan because you’re not “shooting from the hip” but instead, you’ve planned for some of the key threats that could occur.

No plan survives first contact with the enemy – you will run into pop-up threats. Remind your team to let you know when this occurs so you can adapt and react. And finally, mention top resources you and your team can rely on.

Execute the Final Plan

This is where you spell out the clear roles and responsibilities – Who does What by When. Reiterate to the group each detailed Course of Action so everyone is seeing it on the screen and hearing their name called out loud and accountability is established. Remember one person for each task, refrain from putting a functional group down such as “sales team”. This doesn’t mean one person executed everything but there must be one person ultimately held accountable.

Flexibility and Contingency Plan Review

The key to agility! We already know the plan will have to be tweaked with minor changes as the market environment changes around us. Review the triggers for those contingencies to build confidence within the team so they know there is a plan in place if and when something goes wrong.

Rules of Engagement

 

Click the image above to view the 45-second clip

It’s critical to follow the Rules of Engagement. We’ve said it before and we will reiterate it now – 15-minutes max! I know it seems quick, it’s supposed to be quick. You’re in the Execution phase now. No more pontificating, this isn’t a discussion. You’re in, you’re out. I personally strive for 8-12 minutes. Tell then up front no questions until the end. You’re telling them a story of the progress of this mission from start to finish. Use visual aids because this will be a lot of information for them to take in quickly. Give them something to take away as key details of the plan.


About the Speaker:


Joel “Thor” Need, President, Afterburner, leads our team of more than 70 elite military professionals. He has helped achieve strategic objectives and foster elite teams for Fortune 100 companies within the tech industry, pharmaceuticals, finance, medical devices, retail apparel and several NFL teams.As an F-15 pilot, Thor escorted the U.S. President through the sky and flew missions to ensure the safety of the country after the attacks of 9/11.