Imagine that you would be on a sailing ship in a storm. Or underwater and a scuba diver has a serious problem. Alternatively: Your department or even the whole company threatens to fall into economic slump. And now please ask yourself: Can you focus on all important issues at the same time? Can your people oversee what is nice to have vs. certainly important?
Crisis situations are moments of scarcity. It’s about everything, about survival. In most cases, the situation is confusing and the time to react remains limited. Also, there is often a lack of resources. It is important to make clear decisions. This requires the ability to recognize in crisis that you are in a crisis and not under normal mode condition. Crisis is not normal with just a little more stress. Normally you have time to weigh up. Not in crisis. In this situation you must know which of the important items can be disregarded.
We must differentiate the important topics from the essential ones.
Crisis situations are moments of concerns and anxiety. When it comes down to the business and the bones, we feel stressed and fears can overpower us. Many of us will never or rarely have experienced such a situation, we lack the experience of having survived the situation. Survived because the things that were only important and not vital were thrown overboard.
So, the challenge is that we as leaders must be able to part with ballast, even if it is a very painful process. Cell phone overboard? No problem! Meeting overboard? No problem! And only for one single reason. Man overboard: Never ever!
Now, let’s face it, how high do you estimate the probability that your fellow human beings will be able to break away from cherished behaviors in a crisis phase? How well is our environment prepared to question everything? And I really mean everything. All the rules of the game, all customs, all rites and traditions.
Your answers show us the way. In the crisis, we must question things in order to guarantee the survival of the company. Everything must be questioned, except for things that cannot and should not be questioned. Those items you should not question are those that often turn out to be the true values of the company and of being together. But the questioning must be practiced, it is not a matter of course for us. Therefore, my appeal: Let us start in time to practice ourselves, to question especially these topics that are dear to us.