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Crisis Management

Aug 17, 2007
In an ideal world, we would never have crises. Yet in the real world we do. Managing crisis is quite a challenge, so here are some thoughts on how to make it work best for you.

Crisis management is about focus, pure and simple.

It's about getting into a frame of mind where you entirely focus on those things which are vital in the circumstances in which you find yourself and your business.

The things that must happen - and ditching those things that don't need to do right now, until a better day.

For me, customer or client focus has always been the place to start. What would those most important to your business people expect from you?

They are not, quite rightly, concerned with what your problems are - they just expect to be looked after as well as ever. This is your top and if you want, only goal, on a day when everything seems to be going wrong. It's actually a great place to go if you need focus and freedom!

Priority One - Focus all your attention on the most vital thing your customers will want from you today and park the rest.

They want the usual high levels of attention they usually get - and this must be your total focus. Many bureaucratic jobs can be postponed - so be the skilled manager you are and take a position to be brave and do just that. Ditch anything unimportant.

Priority Two - Communicate quickly, simply and personally to those at the sharp end about what they must do and those balls they can drop during the crisis.

This is time for you to show your face on the shopfloor and help out. Now it doesn't mean that you do everything yourself, because you have to be able to get above the crisis and focus on the big picture.

Priority Three - Be with your people, recognise what they are doing and tell them how proud you are with what they have achieved. Praise, thanks, encouragement and pride in them. Right here, now!
Finally and just as importantly as the challenges you have overcome, it's time for Reflection.

Start with working out what went well during the challenge you've had and also about what could have gone better. Fit that into a clear plan for the next time.

Reflect also on the capabilities of your people and let them know more formally how well they did. Celebrate in some tangible way with them. It's a two-way street.

It's also time to reflect on a bigger strategic plan over how to prevent such crises happening in the future. There is no time like the present to do this. Learn while it's still fresh in your mind. And in the minds of your people.

It is possible to be crisis free.
About the Author
2005-6 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com
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