Advice from a Former Crisis CEO
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
Co-Founder, Berlin KraftWorks Inc.
In times of crisis, actions speak louder than words. I’d like to share what we’re doing at BKW and I would like to hear from other Manufacturing and Supply Chain Professionals to hear what they are doing so that efforts may be coordinated. Please reach out to BKW at 519-588-2900 or email me at email@example.com.
An organized, united, hands-on approach will always be more successful than disconnected ideas. Right now, there are two horizons we need to collaboratively focus on: The immediate needs, and the future needs. Time is of the essence for both horizons.
Co-Founder, Berlin KraftWorks Inc.
Many manufacturing firms are feeling the pinch right now, and collaboration is happening at a macro level. For example, GM and Tesla have switched gears to produce badly needed ventilators.
Locally in the Greater Waterloo Region and Wellington County, we can follow their lead. BKW is offering to do whatever we can to link up those who need help with those who can provide it. We have set up a contact page for this purpose.
Please reach out if you are:
Exceptional times demand exceptional measures. The combined Waterloo and Wellington County areas represent the 3rd largest manufacturing sector in Canada, and most fall into the small and medium size category. We have incredible resources in our region, imagine what we can do when we collaborate.