Doing something bad: using Tabletop Excercise as a learning tool

We may come across the need to do something bad. Sometimes it helps to repeat our failed attempts at solving a problem. There are two likely reasons to do this. The first is to learn from our mistakes. If we can repeat safely what we did previously that didn't work, we can pinpoint what things didn't work or went wrong.
The second reason to do something we know doesn't work is to make notes on what did work and what has to be done in any solution that we choose. In another article, where I talked about how we need to learn something new when we want to do something new, I also pointed out that by finding a way to redo past processes, it becomes easier to execute a new process. Knowing what steps to repeat or things that have to be done because it affects other people, can ease us into a new process. How? It eliminates the concern that we missed something. We get to rid that feeling that we missed something.
The real problem is how can we repeat something that didn't work without making a bigger problem?

One way is use a tabletop exercise. Tabletop exercises is a favorite tool of emergency response services. First, it's cheaper than trying to replicate a full-blown catastrophe. Second, it provides a way for the leaders of organizations that have different functions and responsibilities to work together while still being responsible and in control of their own organizations.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's get the basics of a tabletop exercise right.
The tabletop exercise is run by a facilitator. In the context of problem solving, this is either us or the person who knows the problem. The role of the facilitator is run the exercise or scenario. We'll get to that in detail shortly. The players are other member your team or other people who are solving the problem together with you. The players will interact with each other and the facilitator as the facilitator brings the group of players through the scenarios of the problem.
It's also very useful to have an observer. This person or group is someone who is familiar with the situation or technology or mechanics of the problem but not necessarily part of your team or responsible to solve the problem. Their role is to provide an outside perspective. Observers take note of their concerns or questions but don't participate initially. Once the facilitator finishes with the scenario, the observers can ask questions and present their thoughts and ideas. The observer's role is not just to criticize but offer suggestions that the players may not have thought of during the exercise.

Overcoming the fear of Change rationally

The only constant is change. Or so we remind ourselves so often. Why? Because like it or not, at one time or the other, we all have feared change. Change is the unknown and we have a tendency to fear what we do not know. In Step5, we deal with change itself. This is simply because the solution we choose to solve our problem will undoubtedly bring out change.
I've talked about before that in order to start changing, we must first accept change. Accepting change allows us to face change without the mental weights of thinking how to resist change and finding ways to keep the status quo. I've also mentioned that sometimes we should overcome fear of change by simply being impulsive.
But let's say we learned something new but are hesitant to apply what we learned. It's there but not put to use. Like a tool that we bought but still in the packaging. The reason for this hesitation is because it is a form of fear of change. Specifically, we are unsure whether that new thing we learned is better than we already know. We wonder whether it will produce better results that what we normally do.
One way to overcome this fear is to go over the previous unsuccessful attempt. By repeating steps we've taken before, we can be sure not to miss anything. Another way is to overcome it rationally. First, we rationalize how we got to this point. Either what we were doing before wasn't working or the results we were producing wasn't good enough. So that establishes that what we need to do is something else. It's likely that we had tried what we knew but even those efforts weren't successful. So, when we exhaust what we know, all that is left if to try something new.
Second, let's rationalize the change itself by ensuring that the change is not really a total change, that we are not changing for change's sake. In fact, the best change we can do is to build on our experiences. One of the main concerns about doing something new is failing to achieve what did work before. There are two ways we can make sure when we try something new, we achieve at least some success. First, we must know what success looks like. We need to list down what that something new must achieve. We must define the goals so that whatever new things we do, it's headed in the right direction.
Second, we must also list what needs to be done other than the main goals. Even though what we did before didn't work out, it probably still did some things that were necessary. Like reports that needed to be generated along the way or measurements that needed to be taken for quality purposes. Sometimes, our previous efforts did something that was required for something else to work or necessary for another group's success. By running through what we did before and taking note of the necessary steps or things we need to produce along the way, we are ensuring the change we are achieving by doing something new still hit key targets along the way.

Repeating mistakes to learn something new

Sometimes when dealing with problems, we find that we face the same problem again and again. If it is not the same, the problems are similar. And we do our best to solve it each time. It's worse if the same problem keeps recurring, even after we solved it a few times. If we do realize this, it's actually a good thing. We have noticed a pattern and realized that what we have been doing hasn't been working out. It's good because now we know for sure that we need to do something new to solve our problem.
Learning something new or learning to do something new usually comes at Step5. We have chosen a solution and that solution can be something totally new. Which is a good thing because we have established that if the problem keeps recurring and we keep on doing the same solution, that solution doesn't really solve the problem. So we have to deal not only with a new solution but learning to do something new. 
But how do we learn something new? I’m going to save that for another time. Why? Because the hardest thing to do is not learning something new but doing something new. If we think about it, we already have many things that we have learned but haven’t applied. We know so many things that we haven't tried out yet. So, we are going to first learn how to apply something we already learned. This is so that when we do learn something new, we can put it to work immediately.
Not just put it to work once. But adopt it as a new way of working. It’s much like learning English or any other language. You have to apply what you learn. Only then will we become better at it.
We can make doing something new easy to do by first doing what we did before. Do what we normally do before trying something new so that we can adopt new ways of working easier. To put it in another way, repeating our past actions or pattern can put us at ease before doing a new set of actions or new pattern of actions. That way, it'll be easier for us to transition to the new set of actions and pattern.
If we can't do what we normally do because it has permanent effects, like fixing a broken equipment, run through the steps that we normally do and predict the outcome. First be clear on the goal of our actions. List them clearly, separating the main goals versus the other things that are achieved along the way. Pretend to fix that broken equipment for example, and every step, note what would normally happen or things that we would normally observe. If it helps, work this out with another person. They may provide feedback to our planned actions. Plus, when we say what we are going to do, our brain processes the problem differently. Now we have a list of steps that we did before, what we expect to happen and what we would do along the way.
Then, go ahead and apply the lessons learned. Do that something new or apply the new thing we learned. We have the goals to achieve. Make sure at each step, we move closer to those goals. We also know what needs to be done along the way. Make sure those things are done, too. For example, when fixing the broken equipment, we need to inform another group of people that their equipment needs to be stopped at some point for us to continue fixing our equipment. Or take note of the reports that the old method generated and what the reports were used for. Then we can find where in our new set of actions, those same reports will be generated or whether we need to use them at all. In the end, we will know what we need to do for both the old and new ways.