Winning in a crisis

No matter which sector you work in, from time to time chaos ensues.  Unexpected events mean the normal rules are throw out the window; stability is replaced by crisis, normality by a battle for survival.  There will be winners and losers; some will emerge stronger, others will be lucky to survive.

Under these circumstances, is it better to be the “best prepared going in” or to be the “best prepared to react as the dust settles”?

Is all lost if you weren’t ready, if you hadn’t anticipated the emerging risks, or if events develop so quickly that you’re caught off guard?

You can’t turn back the clock.  It’s how you respond that counts… you can take action to turn the odds in your favour.  You may not be the best prepared, but you may be able to turn yourselves into the best prepared to succeed.  Dig in!

Losing your confidence

When you have it, it’s just part of the way you are. It’s not something you pay attention to, have to work to develop or protect… it’s just there.

If you lose it it becomes obvious by its absence.  It may not be obvious to others but for you it will feel like it left a gaping hole filled with uncertainty.  Having initially been specific, targeted on one aspect of life, the uncertainty can spread over time.

The downward spiral may have been the result of an initial trigger or event but is quickly forgotten as mundane day to day events become effected.  Alternatively, it may be the culmination of a long term decline.  Either way, there is nowhere to hide.

Recognising how you’re feeling is a start.  Once you recognise it you can start to develop strategies to deal with it.

You feel different.  You’ve changed.  It feels like you’ve lost something, but in many ways the changes may be positive; you may be more open, more sensitive, more aware, more deliberate.

Where will your new skills take you?

Head in the sand

The problem with the “head in the sand” approach to problem resolution is that, even for the most expert protagonists, the problem generally tends to still be there when normal business resumes.

Ignoring problems may seem like an attractive way of avoiding having to deal with them but at best it’s only effective as a delaying tactic.  Often the delay achieves little more than to magnify the problem and increase the potential consequences.

However much we’d like to be able to wave a magic wand and make problems disappear, the only effective way of dealing with them is by dealing with them… worth remembering the next time you are tempted to look around for somewhere to hide.

Savour the excitement

The kind of excitement that stops you from falling asleep; too keen for the morning to arrive…

And the kind of excitement that hits you like a jolt as soon as your brain engages in the morning; remembering the promise the day holds.

It’s too easy to become immune to it over time, to bury the feelings of expectation and focus on the mundane matters of the here and now.

It takes something really special to provide that buzz… all the more reason to savour it when it’s there.  Enjoy!

Spending goodwill

If you can avoid it, don’t wait until the circumstances demand perfection to try out a new approach, to give staff new roles or to change the system.

When the pressure’s on you need to have confidence on your people, your processes and your systems.  If there are any weaknesses you will be found out.

Choose the time to introduce change carefully.  Be open about the fact that you’re trying something new, and that you’re taking a risk.  Seek feedback and be willing to introduce refinements.  Most importantly, allow people to choose if they participate and reward the willing.

Under the right circumstances people are happy to participate in trials and are generally sympathetic; they recognise things can go wrong and are forgiving.  However, they are not stupid, and will take offense at unwittingly being treated as guinea pigs.

How much goodwill do you have to play with?