Solve Your Next Crisis Before It Happens
Most organizations are blind to serious problems. They don’t see it coming, and when a crisis happens, they have no concrete plan to manage and defuse it. That’s because most CEOs think about unexpected obstacles as something you have to react to, rather than plan for. Well, that idea’s just plain wrong.
The way to handle a crisis is to spend one-half day, once a month, every month, having candid conversations about your company. You need to cover strategy, goals, issues, and being honest about what’s really happening within the organization. That half-day, every month, allows you to have a conversation about problematic issues before they arise, and put action plans in place to create trust and momentum when there is a genuine crisis. When people already know what to do, and what might be a problem, they’re more prepared to handle it – and hopefully even avoid the situation before it explodes.
Taking half a day a month, just six full days a year plus a little bit extra for planning, to candidly talk about the business with executive leaders, teams, and front-line employees, can completely change how fast your company pivots when a need arises. At the enterprise level, having those conversations creates serious focus and complete alignment. And alignment is key.
The first thing that happens in a crisis is panic. Whose problem is it? What team has the tools to solve it? Who is in charge of pushing forward the solution? The executive team should be looking at only 8-12 vital factors that really driving the business. If they’re holding on to those specific things at the executive level, then the next level down should know their own 8-12 Vital Factors, and so on, giving every part of the organization a committed owner and an automatic (and well-informed) leader, if things go wrong.
When you know which factors you own, and which are delegated into the departments, that creates amazing alignment within the organization. When that’s happening, no matter what the problem, the engine just keeps running. You don’t waste any time discovering, managing, and quickly solving the problem – because you’ve already had those conversations, and your teams are prepared to move forward.
Sometimes, issues bubble up and you don’t have an outlet to solve them. But if you have a monthly rhythm of meetings, and participants really open up and speak about the problems they are having (or issues they foresee), you’ll learn to create action from problem-solving; and you’ll be ready for application when something goes wrong. Your business will be prepared to handle any crisis. Instantly.
Are you ready to solve your next crisis? Are your meetings consistent and useful, every time?