In the previous two articles in this blog we have been talking about restructuring and managing a crisis. A company needs a clear and open mind to overcome a crisis to come out of it invigorated. During the research for these articles I found a quote from Berthold Brecht, which is in my opinion perfectly describes the behavior of different people during a crisis. Loosely translated, Brecht said “The unworried, who have never doubts /meet the worriers, who never act. They do not worry about coming to a decision, but just avoid the decision. They only use their heads to shake them in the negative. With a worried face they warn the passengers of a sinking ship about the risks of the water.”
These words from Berthold Brecht perfectly describes in my opinion about what management has to avoid during a crisis. A crisis situation needs to mobilize the thoughts that come out of the situation. It needs the discussions about solutions and it needs decisions, which guide a brighter future. The notorious “worriers” are demotivating and counterproductive in such a situation. They will demotivate the whole team and they will block the actions to overcome the crisis. They have to change their mind-set or they have to be eliminated in order to not hinder the recovery of a company in a crisis.
Making decisions requires readiness to take risks. This should never be done without evaluating the risks. Especially in a crisis situation, it is necessary to make decisions. The notorious “worriers” are not capable of managing a crisis.
In this situation it is advisable to decide and not to expect every decision to have a consensus. And there is another wise advice which should be considered for crisis management: First keep your feet on the brakes and then use the turn signal. Avoid people who put their hands on the turn signal and accelerating at the same time.
Seeing a risk and not slowing down, and only saying “there is a risk,” means you are avoiding the crisis situation. Do things in the right order to eliminate the risks.
These are two wise words that managers should consider for their action during a crisis.