Most people in business face a crisis at some stage, and sometimes how we come through one can be a defining moment in our business career.
Even if you plan and run your business really effectively, sometimes things happen that are just out of your control.
In my own career I’ve experienced two major crises, both of them life threatening: not my life but the lives of people using the products.
Mercifully no-one was hurt but the experience certainly focussed my mind.
With hindsight, both situations could and should have been avoided but nevertheless having to deal with them taught me a few lessons.
So aside from being a defining moment how can facing up to a crisis be good for you?
- It gives us a jolt to the business system, a kick up the backside, a wake-up call and teaches us to beware of complacency
- It forces us to recognise the need for change
- We learn that we can deal with the unexpected. Whatever the outcome, good or not, we learn from the experience
- It provides a sense of urgency
- It pulls people together. We learn who we can depend on. In my own case I have felt truly humbled by the commitment shown by hundreds of people, within my business and outside, including customers and industry regulators, all pulling together to resolve the crisis
- We may learn the power of planning, communicating and executing at speed.
Here is a link to an article by Patrick Thean of Gazelles with his thoughts on the Do’s and Dont’s of managing crisis which I thought I would share with you.
We can never foresee every crisis that might arise but, by thinking about what might happen, we can ensure we are prepared for many eventualities.
Here are three things you can do right now:
- Look at my post Who’s in the War Room? which describes an approach used by Sir Clive Woodward
- Write down the 5 biggest challenges in your business at the moment (the next step will be to make a plan for how to deal with them!)
- Make sure you have a system in place for communicating quickly and effectively with staff and customers should you need to