Situational Awareness

The eyes and ears of your mission.

High performance is not about pure efficiency and commitment to task, come what may. If your team doesn’t know what its threats are, or doesn’t know the effects of its actions, it won’t survive.

You’re what we call ‘tumbleweed’—just blowing in the wind. Instead, if your team wants to operate successfully within a system, it needs to know its place in that system. It needs to have situational awareness or, in fighter pilot speak, ‘SA’.

Put simply, situational awareness is knowing what’s going on around you. It’s about creating clarity.

Flex itself provides the disciplined process and expansive thinking that helps build situational awareness. The Flex engine of plan–brief–execute–debrief matches the ways in which adults learn best:

1. Planning

In planning, we consider new things collaboratively and expansively, taking in outside advice, and processing those ideas into a specific, actionable course of action.

2. Brief

In the brief, we hear the leader’s synthesis of the plan, stressing elements of situational awareness that will make a difference to the mission.

3. Execution

In executing the mission, we experience the very things that beforehand only existed in concept, in our minds. We add our own perspectives regarding the situation to our learning, direct experience rather than indirect.

4. Debrief

And in the debrief, we review those perspectives, learning from cause and effect, finding out that two people can perceive the very same event quite differently, and how to reconcile those perceptions.

Situational awareness is the eyes and ears of your mission. It takes in what’s around you now, as well as what’s in front of you—all the way to your mission objective.


“Thank you to you and the team for a very successful day. My team and I have already started talking about how do we make debriefing a daily practice.”

Sonny Westpac

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