A Crisis Needn't End in Disaster
The recent incredible airplane water landing in New York reminded us that not every crisis needs to end in disaster.
Everyone involved together transformed what could have been a dreadful experience into an uplifting event, and just about everyone deserved credit - the pilot, co-pilot, crew and passengers - even the airline and the people of New York came out positively.
The current economic crisis doesn't need to end in disaster, either
While there are hard times ahead, and even though you might feel you are bringing your business in for a 'water landing' right now, it's not written in stone that the outcome of the next few years has to be catastrophic for your company, division, department, group or team.
Although we're individually unlikely to be able to effect the 'macro' impact of the downturn on industries and regions, we can take steps to ensure that our own 'micro-climate' - the businesses we operate - can survive and thrive in difficult times.
It's about leadership AND management
Captain Sullenberger thoroughly deserves all the plaudits he has rightly received for the great leadership skills he exhibited in safely landing his stricken plane in a crowded metropolis.
Equally important to the positive outcome was also the management skills exhibited by the crew who safely and swiftly shepherded everyone to safety.
Your challenge over the next 12 to 18 months is to build both leadership and management skills to cope with the new economic realities.
It's about process
Can you imagine attempting a water-borne evacuation of 150 people without any agreed system or process? The chaos would be unimaginable.
We can't run our businesses successfully without process and systems - but what we're all now sensing is that those processes and systems which worked well for us in the past, are now crumpling under the massive tectonic realignments in our markets.
What do successful, effective processes look like in this new economy?
It's about teamwork
Everyone on Flight 1549 worked together to change what could have been a catastrophic crash into a public example of what teamwork can achieve.
Getting through the next year in the current conditions is going to require your folks to work together as they never have before. No maverick or rogue manager is going to to swing for the fences and make it all Ok by having a great quarter - the underlying issues of retooling and restructuring for a new world require teamwork and engagement - by everyone.
And yet, how can we expect and receive that engagement and teamwork after painful layoffs and in a time of fear?
These are the challenges we face in this moment in history - challenges that are unlike any of us have faced before.
Is your business going to make a safe water landing and not only survive, but come out stronger? Or will it be caught up in the lemming-like plunge off the edge of the cliff because of mentality that assumes that every crisis must end in disaster?
I'll be giving my thoughts tomorrow, in this month's free teleClass - 'Managing in a Recession'.
Learn more in this free teleclass: Managing in a Recession
I'll be expanding on these and many other points in this month's free TeleClass: Managing in a Recession.
Click here to register - even if you can't make the date, we'll send you a link afterwards to listen to a recording of the class.
Can't make the date?
No problem - register anyway (it's free) and after January 29th we'll send you a link to listen to a recording of the TeleClass: