Today’s post is by Adam Crowe – an expert in emergency preparedness and the author of Disasters 2.0. Here’s Adam…
Leadership in a crisis can be somewhat cliché, but in reality every organization, no matter how big or small, truly must have strong and consistent leadership during events that stress and overwhelm day-to-day practices. The crisis that is overlooked or forgotten is the one that emotionally impacts your organizations, but doesn’t structurally or actively impact your facilities, resources, and personnel.
Events like the attacks on September 11th, Newtown school shootings, and the Boston Marathon bombing have significant localized impacts, but also have far reaching emotional and spiritual impacts that ripple through the region, country, or even world. These secondary effects are not only some of the most difficult for leaders to identify, but also some of the most impactful as employees and organizational partners tend to be distracted, distraught, and disconnected as they try to process and understand the events around them. These characteristics lead to lowered efficiency and reduced productivity, which are ultimately the lifeblood of an organization. There are three leadership techniques that can be utilized to help address these issues:
Employees and organizational partners should be given the opportunity to have access to all sources of information realistically and reasonably available to a given organization. For example, if organizations routinely limit employee access to the Internet, social media outlets, or streaming video, a temporary reprieve from this limitation should be implemented. Likewise, televisions or other sources of information (if available) should be made available to all staff. This openness of information allows people to feel they are engaged in the process and no longer “in the dark.” While the information may ultimately still be limited, it will reduce the distracted thoughts of a worried team member.