One thing is for sure. Crises will happen! The second thing that is for sure however is that they will not last forever. They will not stay. They will eventually go. And what they will leave behind will be losers but there will also be winners. There will definitely not be losers only. There will be winners too! And if this is the case, then what distinguishes a winner from a loser is a question that is worth some thought!
Crises mean problems. A lot of them! Problems and opportunities however are the two opposite sides of the same coin. The capability to solve problems therefore is quite critical in times of crises as in every other case and even more. However, during crises there is one parameter that makes problem-solving problematic to say the least. There is just no time! Everything seems to be pressing. Everything seems to be urgent and important at the same time. And to make things even worse, managers are human beings. And human beings tend to think in terms of worst case scenarios, especially when things turn bad! Simply, during such times light is not visible, not because there is merely no light but also because eyes are turned away from it. Under such circumstances, decisions can only be erratic and their implementation problematic to say the least…
What distinguishes effective decision making and efficient implementation during times of crises is, not luck. Sometimes it may be luck too. But most of the times it has to do with mere preparation. That does not mean that managers should plan based on the worst case scenarios. Planning solely in terms of worst case scenarios is just an unnecessary waste of valuable resources. A lot of mental barriers are dropped when managers balance faith the fear so that to simultaneously see not only the worst but the better too. And a lot of energy can be unleashed towards making the latter happen. However, worst case scenarios cannot just be ignored. They have to seriously be taken under consideration and planned for.
Planning for effective crisis management means that organizations need to have plans in place for administering them. Crises management plans that deal with certain contingencies are indispensable when crises finally appear. Such plans simply allow for a well-informed but in any case fast decision for switching the mode of operation. As soon as that happens, certain predetermined actions can be swiftly implemented. When deployed, business continuity plans allow organizations to respond immediately in a structured way. And in this way they simply allow organizations to have options in available when such options are not available to others. On the other hand, disaster recovery plans allow organizations to avoid sudden death, when others cannot just avoid it. Most importantly, all the above save organizations time, when time is the most valuable asset, whereas at the same time they allow their managers, not only to drive them through to the next day but also to make this day better!
Organizations need to plan based on the expected rather on the worst. But planning is indispensable when there is time. When a crisis eventually hits the door however, this is not time for planning. This is time for bold action. And there is where crisis management and disaster recovery plans that were designed when time was available will prove the value of planning once again. For there will always be a next day. But organizations will need to find themselves standing and in good condition, despite the injuries that they may have suffered, along with a lot of ideas for serving new needs that will surface in the aftermath of the crisis for making this day even better!