Posted on March 2011
LEADERSHIP MATTERS March 2011 ISSUE 47
It's hard to think that the scale of the disaster that hit Japan was foreseeable for those involved in risk management and disaster mitigation.
Consider the scenario that they would have had to contemplate; an earthquake the scale of which rates as one of the world's biggest, followed by a tsunami that claimed tens of thousands of lives, then a melt down of the fuel rods within a number of nuclear facilities.
People are trained to contemplate and prepare for such scenarios but in any scenario training, once it is outside of your perceived reality then it risks loosing buy in from those involved.
So when you are faced with a challenge that you previously hadn't considered where does the direction and action come from? And your challenge doesn't have to be a crisis or disaster, it can be unprecedented growth that temporarily paralysis you or your organisation just as equally.
Clearly hoping that things will be ok or turn out the way you would like is not going to cut the mustard. This is when leadership clearly matters. This is when leaders will rise and stand out and it will be as a result of their actions and reactions.
Given any significant disruption to the way you normally do business my experience is that four key elements will exist in how leaders act:
- Speed - given an opening those first to move, first to market will hold that position. In challenging times, leaders who act first will hold that ground;
- Sensitivity - major disruption to business will result in change and we know change upsets staff and clients. We know that is going to happen so effective leaders prepare for that response and act with sensitivity and empathy;
- Structure - planning your response as the crisis or disaster unfolds will accentuate the problems and in the case of the work I did in Saudi Arabia, such a lack of structure led to deaths. Therefore you need to develop a structure prior to any response; and
- Simplicity - there is a need for leaders to make decisions and keep making them. It's not the time to form focus groups, steering committees or task forces, it's the time for decisions without deliberation.
So we have a couple of options. We can hope that we wont be effected by crisis or disaster, man made or otherwise. Given the start to the year with the floods in Brisbane, Cyclone in North Qld and Darwin, bush fires in Perth, earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan and its only March - good luck with that strategy!
Of course our other option is to prepare and create opportunities for leaders to rise within our organisation.
Leadership Right Here, Right Now Scenario Training
What better way to find out who your leaders are currently laying dormant within your organisation, just waiting for the opportunity to show themselves or to test your current leaders but under some real pressure. Operation Delta is that opportunity. Based upon real life crisis situations with unique challenges developed for every new group, Operation Delta is scenario training where teams are thrust into a crisis situation and need to build a command team, develop a response strategy, execute their plan and deal with rising challenges along the way. How they act and the decisions they make, determines the outcome of every situation.
Operation Delta is an effective training tool because it offers engagement to those involved and it is based upon real life situations. If you have decided that hope is not your plan and would like to explore Operation Delta a little more, a snapshot of how it works is here for you to see.