Crisis Management vs. Thoughtful Execution
Updated: May 19, 2020
I in no way consider myself an expert at anything as there is so much more knowledge out there to gain. That said, this morning on my mind is the difference between urgent Crisis Management and Thoughtful Execution of plans in light of a changing landscape.
Taking a Deep Look
Perhaps it is logical to take a deep look at our businesses / teams / selves regarding how jarring your adjustments during this crisis were to you and those around you.
Did you have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for your organization outlining planned escalating action items that you could easily convey to your team?
Did you have to "Wing it" and implement Hope as a strategy? My wish is that you were able to adjust successfully and continue on your course.
If you were, Why were you successful?
How did you manage the Crisis? Calmly with a solid plan or frantically based on waves of new information?
Were you prepared for more bad news?
Did you spend your time ruminating on what to do or did you keep doing your job?
Is your business positioned to pick up where it left off when you reopen or do you need to find new clients?
Did you execute your leadership role and instill confidence in your team?
Willowview Consulting, LLC has a wide cross-section of personality types, ages, etc. Luckily, Layne Lewis (our President & Owner) and I generally see eye to eye, making execution rather seamless.
The Perks of Prior Planning
What this means to me is that we can make a well-thought out plan, commit to it, and execute without the need to go back and question our decisions. We let the plan play out for what we consider to be long enough while nurturing its success.
I am elated to say that during this unprecedented time we were able to implement our plan prior to any major social / economic changes in America. We knew what we would have to do when and did not use the "Wait and See" strategy. We ripped the band-aid off at the beginning of this mess and made preemptive adjustments to preserve the team.
We lost zero head count, executed a new hire, promoted a team mate, implemented updated procedures, implemented new tools, cleaned up administrative items, captured and started new contracts, and increased our marketing efforts.
Were any of these things planned? ABSOLUTELY. All were. Not one thing that we executed was outside of our Strategic Goals for 2020. We did not waiver. We did not lose focus on our goals. We stayed steadfast.
This is a result of a few traits of our culture (From our Employee Handbook):
We have trust and respect for individuals.
We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution.
We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity.
We achieve our common objectives through teamwork.
We encourage flexibility and innovation.
Why does this matter? Our Organizational Values are personal values and not just words on the wall. We live them. Our philosophy is always to take the best / latest information and test it against our plan:
Does it change your plan?
If so, Why?
How did you miss that?
Why didn't you think of that earlier?
Did you fail to prepare accordingly?
Did your ego or fear drive the decisions of your business?
Asking yourself and your organization these questions can help drive Thoughtful Execution. You cannot control the intangibles or unknowns. Stop trying to.
You can however accommodate those changes without derailing your larger agenda. Does that mean that you put on blinders and just GO? Probably not, but you should feel confident enough in your plan to continue to execute regardless of the changing world.
If you do not have the drive and commitment to your plan and your team to stand tall during a crisis knowing that you are thoughtfully executing your well thought out strategy, then how well thought out is it? Life happens and adjustments are always going to be needed but are you ready?
There’s always more to learn, and I’m happy to discuss with other leaders--feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn or via email!