A staff ride is a case study that is conducted on the ground where the event happened. As the facilitator of a staff ride you are not merely a chauffer for the participants, nor should you be obligated to provide a tour guide's monolog to the participants. What makes staff rides particularly stimulating is that they are group exercises. A staff ride requires active participation by all. Your role should be to encourage discovery learning by providing information references, orchestrating logistics, and serving as a moderator to generate group interaction. You should also become a subject matter expert.
A staff ride should avoid being a recital of a single investigation report. Such reports rarely address the human factors that affect individual decision-making. For this reason, providing participants with a variety of information sources is important.
The intent of a staff ride is to put participants in the shoes of the decision makers on a historical incident in order to learn for the future. A staff ride should not be a tactical-fault finding exercise. Participants should be challenged to push past the basic question of "What happened?" and examine the deeper questions of leadership and decision-making: "What would I have done in this person's place?" "How detailed should the guidance from a superior to a subordinate be?" "Can a senior leader make use of a competent but overzealous subordinate?" "What explains repeated organizational success or failure?" The study of leadership aspects in a staff ride transcend time and place." (About Staff Rides)
- Dude Fire Staff Ride
- Staff Ride Library
- The Wildland Fire Staff Ride Guide
- The Staff Ride by William Glenn Robertson