Recently I jumped off a 30-story building. Considering the “gravity” of that statement I would say that I am in pretty good shape, my nerves were a little fried after, but you have to pay to play I guess. Needless to say, I didn’t actually leap off a high rise but what I did experience is probably as close to the real deal as one can get. What I am describing, is the virtual reality training that is offered by Stanley Security which is designed to trigger the user’s “fight or flight” response. It works really well. I have certainly been nervous before, but this was something entirely different and, in that moment, I experienced pure adrenaline.
Stanley Security uses this virtual reality experience as a training platform for companies and individuals to undergo scenarios that could potentially be life threatening. From regular fire drills, active fire drills, and even an active shooter scenario; the Virtual Reality (VR) training tricks your mind into believing the illusion. Standing on a plank 300 ft in the air certainly felt real to me, and I froze up which gave me tremendous empathy for anyone who has felt that kind of fear before. I can’t imagine how intense the trainings are for a real fire or an active shooter and it helped me understand the answer to a common question that is sometimes asked of victims: “Why didn’t you run?” “Why didn’t you scream?” “Why didn’t you fight?” I obviously can’t answer that question for anyone else, but for myself in that moment it was because I physically couldn’t. All I could do was semi-hyperventilate while my hands trembled uncontrollably.
The reason we were at Stanley in the first place was to get a tour of their innovation center which showcases some of the security products that they offer in the physical security realm and in the cybersecurity sphere. Nick Taylor, Nick Petrone, Wendy Maple, and myself got to see some revolutionary gadgets and even got an explanation as to how bank vaults work. I guess you could say we had “all our ducks”, “I mean Nicks”, in a row. Our host Mat and Nick T. were able to converse in an entirely foreign language to the rest of us about the integrated IoT solutions Stanley has developed. We finished our tour by discussing potential opportunities for collaboration between netlogx and Stanley Security.
The virtual reality was an experience to say the least and in a weird way it reminded me why netlogx’ Project Management, Process Improvement, and Process Mapping services are so important. Being able to teach people to rely on a process and a plan rather than their initial emotional response is extremely valuable. Often as consultants, we are faced with a client whose business processes are in shambles and their company’s energy is spent being retroactive to things that have gone wrong. These folks can be flustered and emotionally reactive and that results in mistakes being made. When good processes are in place that have repeatable success, then that “fight or flight” can dissipate to action and results. I had to remind myself that what I was experiencing was not reality, that I was not actually on top of a 30-story building, that the helicopter flying by me wasn’t there, that if I decided to jump I would still be safe, even if it looked like I was falling. After five or so minutes of repeating that process, I jumped, and I am glad that I did.