6 Tips for Leadership and Decision Making in a Crisis

6 Tips for Leadership and Decision Making in a Crisis

Organisations all over the world need to take decisive action to adapt and survive the crisis we are currently facing. Crisis management hinges on strong leadership but leadership can often falter under stress. The pressures of critical business decision-making compounded by simultaneous personal change will inevitably lead to stress. So below we’ve compiled some top tips to help ensure you keep a clear head and make informed decisions that will ultimately lead to successful business transformation.

1 Accept the crisis

The Kubler-Ross model below is not only used for personal transition through grief but is effective in understanding the stages of organisational change.  It is crucial that change must be recognised and that the early stages of shock, denial and anger are moved through quickly in order to deal with any situation and focus on a response.

The Kubler-Ross Change Curve

Source: Mastering Business Analysis

2 Assemble the right team

Even if you’re a key decision maker the responsibility for decisions should not be entirely lie with you.  Just think about SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) and their role in supporting the government’s coronavirus response.  Sourcing multiple perspectives from around the business team is essential.  It will strengthen experience and iron out any unconscious biases.

3 Evaluate information

Judgement can often be clouded by adrenaline, in order to make rapid, optimal risk-balanced decisions you need to gather quality data to work with. Conduct SWOT analysis and stress tests. Be sure to separate fact from fiction and always challenge assumptions. As emphasised in the first point, try not to dwell on things and focus on information that provides insight and foresight over hindsight.

4 Begin at the end

You will need to define your outcome, a final destination to aim for amid the uncertainty. Is your key objective to retain your entire team? Is it to ensure that the business turns a profit in this time? Or is it to simply safeguard your key clients? Keep defining and refining your end goal and avoid near-term objectives that may or may not support it.

5 Be adaptable

Gone are the days of ridged plans, we are agile animals now! As pointed out above you will need a route map to an end point but you need to remain flexible.  Reassess strategy frequently and cater for alternative scenarios. When attempting to build out of crisis staying open and creative towards change is necessary.

6 Be empathetic

We are all on a journey of change and many will be feeling change fatigue due to covid. Reach out even more and listen to clients and teams. If we build confidence and understanding, others are more likely to follow us up the change curve.  It is vital to be pragmatic, but we must balance our business aims with the wellbeing of employees, who are the most essential element in ensuring that business can continue as productively as possible.

Good luck all you decision-makers out there!