I bet you remember doing fire drills as a kid in school. Your teachers were trying mightily to get 25 fourth graders (if you are Canadian, grade fours) to follow the predetermined route, in a “calm and orderly fashion.” You would then proceed to your designated spot and goof off with your friends for 20 minutes before going back to your regularly scheduled programming.
If you were with me in northern Manitoba, there was the added excitement of frostbite and wolf sightings in town. Regardless, this was probably your first experience working a crisis plan so that, in the moment, you could trust that it would work.
You probably weren’t part of the planning or figuring out who went where in the playground but I’m sure you noticed that you became much better at following directions at the end of the year than at the beginning; you trusted the teacher and followed their lead. You knew that if there was a fire that you now had the best chance of getting out ahead of it.
The same principle that applies to fire, frost and wolves, applies to mitigating risk, preparing for crises, and executing with speed in the moment within your organization.
Crisis Confidence = Speed, Clarity and Trust
Over the past couple of weeks we have gone through the first two ingredients of being crisis confident: speed and clarity. Well, today it’s the third — trust. To be truly crisis confident, you must have trust:
- Trust that the system you have built has been tested and will provide clarity and allow you to respond with speed; and
- Trust that you have the right processes and people in place and that both will work as they should in the moment.
As our CEO Bill Coletti is fond of saying, “The crucible of crisis does not develop your leadership. It reveals it.” In the midst of a crisis, do you trust your team’s ability to respond quickly, smartly and with agility? Are you confident you will like what you see?
Not sure? It’s better to find out now than to get the 3 a.m. phone call. Remember, you have to play a crisis with the hand you have, not the one you wish you had.
The unique thing about Trust is that it must be built. To build Trust, it must be tested and it must be shared. Trust cannot exist with just one person.
So here is the basic building plan to become crisis confident – figure out your weaknesses, gather your missing capabilities, figure out the plan and test it. Test it thoroughly, often and from every angle.
We’re also happy to help with that. We are very good builders.