Leading and Managing Crises

Crises can surprise even the best decision makers. Time is often short and stakes are usually high. Crisis leadership is about the right strategy. Crisis management is about the right operations. Both are essential.

In these high-stress situations, the first challenge is to capture the basis for a good decision:

  • Agree on the right frame and structure that will identify a realistic range of what we can do and can't do, assess what we know and don't know, and clarify what we want and don't want to occur.
  • Evaluate the full risk and return of each strategy, gain buy-in to an appropriate action plan, and involve the right leaders and managers in the right way.

The next challenge is to analyze the interactions of the various parties, each with different objectives. Game theory provides a useful framework for identifying options preferred by each party. Interactions are modeled by assessing priorities among conditional responses.

The final challenge is to make updates and changes as the crisis situation and environment evolve. Adaptive, competitive modeling allows real-time modifications of information and strategies. The value of additional modeling helps determine the robustness of solutions.