The Jenks Group Hones Skills of Top Executives with US SEALs Training

 US Navy SEALs teach executives

 

—It’s not easy to get, and hold, the attention of a busy executive. But the Jenks Groups, Inc. (TJGI), a boutique strategic services consulting firm in Solana Beach, CA, has developed a program that’s hard to ignore: they employ US Navy SEALs—and weapons—to educate and sharpen the tactical skills of senior executives. In a one-of-a-kind experience called “Strategic Operations Skills Training” (S.O.S.T.™), seasoned executives participate in physically and mentally challenging exercises that provide them with a fresh outlook and renewed traction toward achieving their corporate goals.

Four years in the making, The Jenks Group’s program uses a realistic battlefield on a San Diego TV/movie studio lot to instill six “game-changing” skills into an executive’s arsenal. State-of-the-art Hollywood special effects heighten the experience for S.O.S.T. participants.

In developing their program, TJGI founding principal Sharon Jenks studied the characteristics that made some executives successful while others struggled. “Far and above any other specific trait, the ability to execute on assigned initiatives is what separated those who are extremely successful from those who struggle,” she says. “What we determined is that there are hard skills that can be taught—and more importantly, managed—that turn mediocre into movement.”

One of the challenges, she realized, was in educating and motivating senior executives to manage the change that’s required to move a company forward. “Once someone is engaged for a few years, they tend to settle into a routine that delivers a predictable outcome, and that’s good,” she says. “The downside is that in settling into that routine, they also deliver a routine outcome. Our S.O.S.T. program helps break up the logjam and offers the executive participant an opportunity to learn new skills that provide different perspectives.”

Over the course of one or two days, executive groups participate in intensive physical and mental exercises to acquire six skills modeled on successful US Navy SEALs strategies. “If you want to meet a team of the most highly trained task-to-mission experts in the world,” says Jenks, “those would be our US Navy SEALs instructors. They are top drawer game-changers.” The skills learned in field exercises are subsequently debriefed in the classroom. “There’s absolutely no other program out there like this,” emphasizes Ed Jenks, principal and senior strategist for TJGI. “It’s hands-on experiential and backs up the exercises with game-changing lessons that tie directly back to the C-suite.”

One executive who took advantage of an opportunity to preview the program said it redefined for him the importance of good communication during high-stress activities. “It was pretty amazing,” said Jim Canfield, CEO of Renaissance Executive Forums. “I think what it does is allow you to feel what it really feels like when you’re in the middle of split-second decision making.” The experience also underscored the value of team unification in order to achieve mission success. It was critical, he found, while negotiating a simulated battlefield, to “make sure the whole team knows what we’re trying to accomplish, that everybody knows their part.”

The S.O.S.T. program may not be for everyone. The training manual warns that it’s “an aggressive, experiential exercise that can carry some bumps and bruises along the learning path not to mention incredibly fun.” But for those executives seeking to drive their management team’s performance, The Jenks Group and a few US Navy SEALs have some game-changing ammunition.

About Strategic Operations Skills Training (S.O.S.T.)

S.O.S.T.™ is an experiential educational program designed to train executive teams in six “game-changing” hard skills. The program runs over one or two days and those days may be split over the course of three to six months. Each skill builds on the last and increases in intensity as the physical, intellectual, emotional and sometimes spiritual challenges become more apparent. Skills learned in field exercises are subsequently debriefed in the classroom for takeaway traction back to the executive suite. The program can be scaled for relevancy and specificity to divisional areas, and can be tailored to meet the needs and expectations unique to each organization. For more information, please visit www.sosttraining.com.

Strategic Operations Skills Training (S.O.S.T.) Fast Roping

US Navy SEALs teach executives

 

 

 

Behind the scenes in our S.O.S.T. program, participants are learning new skills that will apply to their Mission. Taught by US Navy SEALs, each of these skills are transferable to the workplace. The only way you can learn how is to experience it yourself. An experience you will never forget, as you push yourself out of your comfort zone.

In this quick clip, Alpha and Bravo Teams are readying for Game Changing Skill #6 – “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday”

 

Find out how your team can experience this game changing program at http://www.sosttraining.com

 

Executives Learn from Navy SEALs – Game Changing Skill 4: Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning Strategic Planning

How do you define strategy? Do you know what initiatives are necessary for achievement? Is each team member unconsciously competent in performing their responsibilities?

For the purposes of this skill, we define strategy as the overarching methodology utilized to meet the needs of achieving the mission.  We form these strategies into initiatives:  those activities that must be performed in order to gain traction and give the mission its mobility.

If our mission or goal is to take the beach, we may deploy several different strategies to accomplish this goal.  We could drop in from the sky, we could swim up to the beach, we could land a Zodiac on the sand, or we might drive up from the land side.  Each strategic initiative must be assessed for relevancy and risk as well as probability of outcome.

Each approach must be carefully thought out with assumptive reasoning, as much intelligence as can be gathered, and as much experience as the individual team members might have.  With the collective in hand, we must assess our skills as a team and determine what approach will best achieve the mission.

The developmental scale is as follows:

1.      The Mission

Determined by the top ranking officer.

In business, this is the CEO working with the senior executive team and the Board.

“Penetrate the building, locate and secure the President, bring him out alive and with minimal collateral damage.”

2.      Recon Team

Determine Ops Force and Building Layout while gathering any and all relevant intelligence that could affect the mission or the team.

In business, this is assessing our structure from facilities to environment, as well as gathering our reporting metrics for a look-back and a plan forward.  We might also look at our competitors and assess their market position.

Reconnaissance and Intelligence

Many times in the business community, we find ourselves reacting to information that may not be factual.  The importance of having vetted factual information on which we can act successfully is of paramount importance to the strategy we’re trying to deploy and keeping our commitment constant to advancing our organization in a game-changing manner.  Reacting to information both internally and externally is only a surety when we have vetted information that allows us to prepare adequately for the natural and reasonable risks in our path to achievement.

   3.   Strategic Initiatives

Based on the mission goal, the reconnaissance intelligence, the team capabilities, the team “kit,” and the experience, skill, and education of the team members, design the strategic initiative(s) necessary to achieve the mission goal.

Remember to utilize all the game-changing skills you have learned thus far.

Once you’e outlined your strategic initiatives, carefully assess each one and select only two initiatives out of all the concepts discussed.  Be sure to discuss all suggestions before proceeding to the next step.

   4. Assumptions

State the assumptions that the team has made in designing their Strategic Initiative(s).

   5.  Mission Domino

The Mission Domino is the outline of all the specific actions that must take place in order for the strategic initiative to be effective at achieving the mission.  These may be individual actions or team actions; situations or outcomes; etc.  This is where the devil in the detail makes the big picture look easy.  Again, remember to use all of the game-changing skills you’ve learned thus far.

 6. Risk Assessment/Contingency Planning

Reviewing your initial Strategic Initiative(s), Assumptions, and the Mission Domino, consider any and all activity that may present risk.

For the purpose of this exercise, consider risk in two categories.

First, what is the probability of the identified risk happening on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being of small probability and 5 being a show-stopper?

Second, assess the impact of the threat should it occur, on a scale of 0% to 100% with 0% having no impact and 100% being a show-stopper.

Identify and discuss all potential risks.  Once identified and assessed, create a mitigating response to each threat.

   7.  Train

Identify your training needs based on the Mission, Vetted Facts, Intelligence, Strategic Initiatives, Assumptions, Risk Assessment, Mitigating Response(s), and Team strengths.  Advise your Instructors of any additional training needs you have.

   8. Execute

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