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Shoot, Don't Shoot: Minimising the Risk of HCD

  • Start date: 23 November 2017 10:00 AM
  • End date: 23 November 2017 11:30 AM
  • Venue: Ngunnawal Theatre, Russell Offices


Military decisions carry high consequences, often life or death. Dr Dirk Maclean has recently released a book Shoot, Don’t Shoot on using high consequence decision-making (HCD) as a framework for organisations dealing in environments where the consequences of decisions and errors can be catastrophic. In this seminar Dr Maclean will draw on some of the lessons learnt from his research, particularly as they apply to military decision-making.
HCD is an important training program which comes at a critical time for the Royal Australian Air Force and wider Defence Force. The concepts included in this book are applicable for everyone involved in making decisions with the risk of catastrophic outcomes. Shoot, Don’t Shoot offers a robust approach for preparing, making and evaluating the types of potentially high consequence decisions that military personnel at all levels need to be prepared to make.   

Copies of the book will be available to attendees at this seminar.

Dr Dirk Maclean

Dr Dirk Maclean is a consultant in the fields of risk, crisis, and emergency management, with earlier experience as a career fire fighter and security professional. In 2012 he was recruited into the RAAF as an Intelligence Officer. Here he was tasked with researching into the available literature on rapid military decision making, and how to mitigate the risks surrounding go/no go decisions where the consequences of error are catastrophic. This developed into the ‘High Consequence Decision Making’ (HCD) training program, a scenario based format that investigates the challenges posed by real situations, incidents, and engagements that called for unexpected, time compressed, complex, and difficult decisions, for which simply following plans or procedures proved totally inadequate. HCD training is conducted by several units across AF.

Dirk is an expert in the design and delivery of training programs. He has an MBA and lectures at Masters level in Leadership, Organisational Behaviour, and Human Resource Development. He has trained Incident Management Teams across industry sectors that include critical infrastructure, food, mining and resources, in Australia but also New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, China, and India, as well as related executive programs in Vietnam and Mongolia. He has a PhD in philosophy from La Trobe University, Melbourne, and has recently published research on how best to measure the value and performance of the Intelligence function. Together with Dr Charles Vandepeer he has written on the Changing Role of Intelligence in our current operational environment. He is now adapting the HCD Framework to a civilian context for the prevention and containment of major industrial accidents and natural disasters.