Crisis management is essential in today's business environment. The dynamics of the marketplace, shifts in customer tastes and perceptions, and even the weather all play a significant factor in continuing business operations and maintaining a competitive advantage.There are two critical areas in being able to effectively, and confidently, face a business crisis. The first is preparation. Every business needs a have a robust level of intelligence regarding their operations, including in-depth knowledge of new developments within their industries and markets. Leadership must draw up some simple action plans, and drills. These plans should be frameworks which can be adapted to multiple contingencies, not a separate in-depth contingency plan for every possible outcome. These comprehensive plans can become over-analyzed, cumbersome, and may not address all the needs of the organization when put into action. Preferably a set of steps in a proper framework along with related responsibilities and points of contact should be kept. This way plans are adaptable and ready to go on a moment's notices and can be improvised to fit the current situation, while still providing some structure upon which leaders may base their decisions.
Second, is an in-depth knowledge of the fundamentals of the business and the creative ability to apply them in new situations. Leaders have to be adaptable in this day and age, and adaptability starts with knowing the fundamentals. Being able to apply these fundamentals in new cases cleverly is what improvisation is all about. Leaders in a crisis moment must have the confidence to take what they have and use it to adapt, improvise and overcome against the odds.Noone wants to face a crisis. However, an agile and independent leader with a robust framework for action, and excellent knowledge of the fundamentals in their space is infinitely more prepared and more able to keep a calm and collected demeanor than if they were lacking these simple practices.
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