Inter-organizational collaboration in hazmat emergency response

Today, I attended a scenario-game concerning emergency response in a context of a hazmat accident in a railroad environment. The scenario-game provided the involved organizations, cargo company, railroad authority, regional administrative board, fire & rescue services, the police, as well as other industrial stakeholders, an excellent opportunity to discuss all the well-known challenges in large scale emergency response. The game also indicated the extreme challenges in providing a common operating picture in a dynamic work context. My reflection is that establishing a common operating picture, perhaps could be counter-productive and very time-consuming. Perhaps, we should instead focus our efforts to collaborate even if we have a partially conflicting operating picture. I mean, all the stakeholders have their unique competences and experiences. So why should we in an extreme event try to reach consensus when we in our daily lives make use of conflicts in order to reach understanding and a way forward about certain issues.
Anyway, the scenario-game was excellent. The involved organization managed to discuss a range of complex issues without ending up in lenghty detailed technical discussions.

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