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  • Writer's pictureTony Felice

Leadership during Crisis

I attended a very informative class today offered by Harvard University on leadership during a crisis (in particular COVID-19) and a fascinating crisis communication framework was presented by the professor.  What I'm impressed with is what I've seen from a number of my clients in how they have reacted to this crisis, pivoted their business operations, and deployed many of the strategies the professor, Dr. Rucker presented today adapted from the framework created by she and colleagues as part of the Kennedy School Program on Crisis Leadership.

Some takeaways (and I'm happy to share the recording of the class with you once they send it to us, they have encouraged us to share). If you wish to be included, please send me an email or call. 

To view the Harvard presentation click here.

Key Takeaways:

1) When people are afraid their IQs drop.

2) It's important to lead the crisis and manage the damage (most leaders will set about creating a bunch of tactics instead of leading the crisis)

3) Leading the crisis means, assembling a team to really analyze the impact downstream of the crisis as well as how it will impact business operations right now and in the months/years to come. (Consider using a facilitator that is not you the leader for this analysis part). 

4) People expect the leader to know what to do, it's important to remain rational and don't fake it. Otherwise they'll think the wrong person is in charge. 

5) Adaptive problems (like global pandemics with no precedent or best practices to turn to) cannot be controlled by your expertise. It requires new experiments, new ways of thinking. 

6) Hope that things will get better is NOT a strategy. Determine what things might make this situation worse and deal with them now. 

7) Walk your teams through the new norm - business WILL NOT be the same after this. 8) Frequent constant communication is essential

9) As we emerge from this take a hard look at your business model and adapt now to the new reality. 

How has your business changed as a result of this event and will you flourish in the end?


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