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The ABCs of Leading In Crisis Part 3

There has been a little lapse in these posts as my first-quarter commitments increased. You can breathe now, I'm back with the next installment. First, an introduction.


I listened in on a discussion this morning about crisis-management strategies. There was a lot of talk about positioning and PR. While I was invited to listen, a thought occurred to me: the problem isn't the PR, it's organization's the systems. Perhaps you are experiencing some challenges that, as a leader, affect how you appear to the public. Get the experts on board to help with your public messaging, but make sure you address what's happening inside. So here are the alphabets:


An Inside Job: While we must make sure our public face aligns with the stated brand (or mission if you prefer), those statements mean little if they conflict with the culture of your teams or organization. You might recall the famous statement by Peter Drucker: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." No matter how much you spend on crisis management tactics, without addressing the culture of your organization, you may as well get ready to spend more.


Who's Job Is It? Remember the childhood game, "hot potato?" Well maybe you don't, it’s a pretty old game. The object of the game was to get the 'hot potato' out of your hand before the timer went off. Often looking at who is responsible for making changes to an organization's culture can feel like a game of hot potato. Should it be in HR, or does it belong in Planning and Strategy? Whoever gets the responsibility has the not-so-subtle pressure of 'fixing the problem' before it explodes into a public crisis, so shifting the responsibility for an aligned culture continues. An interesting idea for addressing this might be adding the role of Chief Purpose Officer. Here's an article that talks about the potential impact this role can have in an organization: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/emergence-chief-purpose-officer-chris-shayan/


Know Your Team: It is important as leaders to know who you are working with. Look at the team you oversee: what are their strengths individually and collectively? Where are they most likely to experience conflict? Might those conflicts lead to greater creativity if embraced and leaned into, or are the conflicts due to a lack of psychological safety or clarity concerning roles and working relationships? How can your team's culture promote or challenge your brand inside and, yes, even outside the organization?


Team Coaching is a great way to bring your team together and explore strengths and opportunities. If you are not familiar with team coaching, here's an article about it. https://hbr.org/2023/02/coaching-your-team-as-a-collective-makes-it-stronger.


Of course, I would welcome the chance to talk about how we can help your organization through team coaching.



I'm Michele Aikens CEO & Lead Coach of Clear Sight Coaching & Consulting, Inc. I would welcome the chance to talk about how your team can be even more impactful. Feel free to email me here.

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