Dr. Stephen Hummel, P.Eng
Strategy Guide, Berlin KraftWorks Inc.
Good morning everyone. As I reflect on what is happening in your world and mine, observing how people are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, I recalled how similar this current situation is to my professional career as a crisis leader. Our current situation is not anything our planet has ever seen before however it’s important to remember that, best practices are transferable from industry-to-industry and situation-to-situation.
The worst thing anyone can do at this point is panic and be paralyzed to move forward. Yes, we have a battle on our hands, however we will get to the other side and life will continue. I was taught a best practice for crisis management, both personally and professionally. It has worked for me, the unhealthy firms I was responsible to lead, and incidentally for my family in times of terrible problems. I have learned and polished this best practice for 40 years so I know that it has validity. That best practice is to build a routine.
Our current routine has been disrupted. We are creatures of habit. Building a routine creates order in our lives and order reduces uncertainty. Reducing uncertainty, no matter how little, allows us to perform better, in all things, especially in dealing with new uncertainties.
As a former Crisis CEO the first thing I did for my people was bring order to chaos by enforcing action and communication routines. We collectively developed and executed a schedule, converting this schedule every day or every week (depending upon the activity) into a routine. This simple practice, always worked.
I recommend that you develop a new schedule for your personal and professional activities, converting this into a new routine. I would get this done today as time is the one resource, once spent, that you can never recover.
Once you get into a routine, you will note that your performance will dramatically improve as well as your tolerance and innovation skills to tackle new problems. This is a terrible problem that we are all facing but it is also an opportunity for each of you to develop chaos-conquering skills.
I leave you with a quote from a wiser person than myself as guidance;
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel