Monday, December 22, 2008
I got involved in a discussion the other day about Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), protocols, and other cookie cutter procedures that would guide people along the correct course of action. My Scottish security partner came out with a saying that I had never heard before, "Rules Are The Idiots' Guide To The Wise". Huh? In other words, SOPs are put in place to help guide someone that doesn't really know what they're doing in the first place. Wow, that's pretty damning, but it's true.
I've seen guys wrap their head around the minutia of SOPs, writing them down, diagramming them out like football plays, making PowerPoint slides, carrying them around in little notebooks. Come on, either you know what your doing or you don't. If you're confident, knowledgeable, experienced, and calm you will probably make the correct decision every time. If you're carrying around the playbook under your arm and constantly diagramming things out on a whiteboard, well, you might be in over your head.
I know this may sound blasphemous to many in the security industry, but to be honest our ranks are filled with guys and gals that would be lost without their playbook, unable to take the appropriate course of action without the SOPs. They're playing out of their depth.
There's nothing wrong with comparing notes with other team members, but it should be nothing more than an azimuth check. If I've got to memorize a bunch of immediate action drills, then I probably don't have any business being involved in any immediate action.