Organizations are more vulnerable than ever to crises. To manage them, companies and organizations must start by understanding what crises are and how they can dealing with them.
What is a crisis?
A crisis is a sudden or evolving change that creates an urgent problem requiring immediate attention. Examples could be:
- Life-threatening defects are discovered in a company’s product.
- Computer hackers shut down an organization’s entire IT system.
- A natural disaster wipes out a key supplier.
- A terrorist attack destroys lives and property.
- A key leader dies with no obvious successor.
Crises are not the normal ups-and-downs of a business cycle—recurring problems that occur as an organization takes risks and explores new opportunities. Instead, crises are wrenching, painful events.
Yet some good can come out of crises—because organizations can learn from them. Managers can use insights gained from a crisis to prevent future crises and manage unavoidable ones more effectively. Sometimes, they even find new opportunities as a result of crises.
Lead Effectively During Crises
The best leaders demonstrate distinctive attitudes and behaviors during a crisis.During a crisis, the most effective leaders demonstrate compassion. By being compassionate, you allow people to deal with the chaotic emotions that crises can trigger and help them recover more quickly.Decisiveness is just as critical as compassion in a crisis. But being decisive isn’t always easy. In a crisis, you often have to act without complete information.
Learn from crises
Every crisis offers opportunities to learn how to prevent, prepare for, and manage future crises. Discover ways to extract maximum insight from a crisis. Try to learn from the experience and make changes to avoid or prepare for similar crises.