Crisis has the ability to turn a busy and unwelcoming city into a warm, friendly and compassionate shelter. Time and again people, organizations, cities, countries, the world has undergone crisis. While there were several instances where hope and lives were lost, there were many more instances that saw the rise of a leader, and saw the entire community which was earlier divided in the name of religion and political views and preferences, come together as one to support each other. Once people face a crisis, something changes within.
Speaking about "Transforming against Crisis" at People Matters TechHR 2019, Ricardo Viana Vargas, Executive Director, Brightline Initiative shared some interesting statistics and observations on how organizations and individuals respond to crisis.
Organizations, on a global scale, are undergoing drastic disruption in the way they function, create value and deliver experience. Firefighting has become second-nature! Ranging from challenges such as leadership conflicts, tech adoption, employee attrition and layoffs--a new crisis pops up just around the corner. It’s human tendency to look for answers in the past. However, the more you compare your current crisis with the one in the past, you come to a realization that no matter how similar the situations might appear at first, on a second glance, they are very different.
“No two crisis are the same, not at all. But what happens is that you learn something new in your bag of experience,” said Vargas.
Where there is a problem there is an opportunity. On the same lines, where there is a crisis there is a silver lining. But, if crisis is not handled in a proper and timely manner it can lead to a disaster. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind before you head over to tackle the next crisis:
Focus on what matters: HR leaders are overloaded with conflicting priorities. There is much to be done in less time. At the time of an emergency or crisis, you need to focus on what really matters and not what you think matters. “What is really at the core of what you want to do in your organization,” said Vargas. He further added that as per a survey, 75 percent of respondents stated that crisis made them stronger in implementing ideas, by the mere presence of a challenge.
Need for speed: There is a need to develop a sense of urgency. It is absolutely critical. There is a burning need to speed up the decision-making process. There are a lot of conversations around learning, and these learnings need to take place now! As per a survey, 91 percent of respondents said that decision-making was 10 percent more likely to have sped up during a crisis. Also, 93 percent of respondents agreed that on facing a crisis they changed the standard operating procedures.
Power to people: Crisis helps discover hidden and undiscovered talent. People transformation is crucial for every organization. It is important to empower people. Organizations need to make people aware of the need to step up and help them develop themselves. As per survey results, 93 percent of high performing organizations believe a crisis uncovers talented leaders. Additionally, 75 percent of modifications made to team structures at the time of crisis remain unchanged.
Committing to communication: “One of the key challenges of crisis is how to handle proper communication,” said Vargas. In a fast-paced environment, we have a massive challenge to communicate the right message to the right people. Lack of proper communication is a breeding ground of made-up theories that have the ability to generate a sense of fear and insecurity among employees. 75 percent of the respondents agreed that a clear understanding of priorities reveals a sense of direction.
At a time when there is a lot of uncertainty in the way forward for organizations, crisis situations are bound to arise. By prioritizing, developing a sense of urgency to address critical issues, empowering people and ensuring timely communication, organizations can mindfully sail through disruption.
To be a part of similar sessions, register here for People Matters TechHR 2020 in Singapore.