Create a crisis
One strategy to get a stalled organization moving is creating a crisis.
Webster says a crisis is, “The point of time when it is to be decided whether any affair or course of action must go on, or be modified or terminate…”
The leadership team I work with recently created a crisis by setting a deadline. After months of pursuing a desirable solution to a pressing problem, we drew a line in the sand. Here’s what we said to our organization.
If we cannot find the property we desire by July 1, we will accept a less desirable, temporary option. Furthermore, by August 9 we plan to vacate this property and move into the best available location. July 1 arrived and the solution we hoped to find didn’t materialize. We identified a less desirable solution and moved on schedule.
It turns out the less desirable option has many advantages. It’s not perfect. It’s creating discomfort. But, it freed us from a strangling bottleneck and presents new exciting opportunities.
Seven suggestions for crisis makers:
- Be willing to fail miserably and understand consequences can be fatal
- Be up front with everyone (never deceive)
- Only create a crisis if your mission and vision are in peril
- Don’t even think about it unless trust runs like a river through your organization – its going to be tough even with trust
- Stick to your word
- During the crisis act humbly, confidently, and compassionately
- Acknowledge the negative while focusing on opportunities
Leaders reach higher by creating a crisis that defeats stagnation
What other suggestions do you have for creating a crisis? What other dangers?
Disclaimer: As with all Leadership Freak blogs this is only my opinion. I don’t know your circumstances. I’m not encouraging you to create a crisis. I’m saying we did and in this case it worked.
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