Debriefing: The Value in Seeing How You Could Have Done Things Differently

Debriefing: The Value in Seeing How You Could Have Done Things Differently


Every professional has had the experience of looking back on a past decision with regret or sheer befuddlement. As hindsight is always 20/20, the present offers a clear vantage point from which you can deconstruct and understand what went awry. You may ask yourself how that solution could’ve possibly sounded good, why you decided to work with that unreliable partner, or a host of other pertinent questions aimed at deciphering a now-perplexing course of action which somehow evaded your better judgement.


Debriefing as an opportunity.

While you can’t change the past, these missteps can be used to inform future decisions. Although debriefing comes with a host of connotations, it is really about taking the time to understand factors that went into a past decision and considering possible alternatives. Here are some of the advantages of debriefing and the value that can be found in seeing how things could have been done differently.


Reaffirmation and Contemplation

The most practical results of a debriefing are to reaffirm what you are doing right and to contemplate better solutions for what you could have done better. By focusing solely on the negative, you run the risk of becoming overbearing and losing out on what works. On the other hand, an overzealous concentration on the positive leaves current problems unsolved. A holistic and thorough debriefing will take note of both the good and bad aspects of each engagement for a more complete and thorough overview. It’s only possible to improve in areas which are accounted for, and debriefing ensures that every aspect is evaluated for the betterment of the company.


Learning and Adaptation

Brainstorming is the foundation of a solid debriefing. Once you’ve dissected a particular engagement and separated the positive aspects from the negative, you can now take the problems as learning experiences for the future. Instead of becoming apathetic or letting these issues continue to go unchecked, use it as an opportunity to make necessary changes and improve. A proactive approach to mistakes is learning what was done wrong and adapting to make sure it is prevented the next time around. Debriefing emphasizes a desire for improving the future by questioning, analyzing, and understanding current models and systems for continued adaptation.


Tracking and Breakdown

A surface-level debriefing isn’t going to bring about the real value that a more in-depth analysis would yield. It’s important to use a variety of methods to breakdown problems in order to retool for future success. For example, identifying the source of a problem may require varying perspectives and trouble-shooting solutions. Maybe an issue was caused by human error, a technological malfunction, or it was contract based, or process related. Determining the root of a problem may require a multifaceted approach. Don’t forget to treat debriefing as an accumulative process. Maintaining an incident log will help you and your team to keep track of past incidences and will make it easier to track progress over time.


Involving an Insurance Agent

The scope of debriefing should never be confined solely to the inner workings of your company. Not only are there outside influences which have a hand in your company’s operations, but there are external players which can offer expertise in particular areas. You can involve your insurance agent in some aspects of a debriefing as a vital resource for more complex areas of evaluation. They are used to looking at business risk and insurance risk and can offer a fresh perspective on more legally sensitive areas of a debriefing.


ABI Insurance is your local one-stop insurance provider with expertise and experience that can help to enrich your company’s understanding of more complex legal workings. ABI is also a proud sponsor of the OMPA Master Summit. Whatever you create, wherever your storytelling takes you, ABI Insurance can help make your creative vision a reality. Contact us today for a free quote!