‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’ was the maxim of one of my early business mentors, more frequently attributed to Churchill. This would be at the time when most people were looking for an exit. However, the statement does merit reflection. A good crisis can be a benefit both before and after it happens.
In the first instance, it is a matter of fact that various challenges, set-backs and even crises are going to beset your business, invariably at the most inopportune time, such being the nature of a crisis.
The most respected Business Owners will anticipate that and consider the critical elements of their business whether that be Sales, Operations, Finance or People – asking the question: ‘What is the worst thing that could happen?’ and ‘How should we deal with that?’
This is a powerful exercise in its own right because it will unleash levels of creativity and problem solving skills as well as mitigate the fear as and when a significant challenge inevitably arises.
Clearly, the post-event review is the best possible opportunity to learn from the experience by asking the questions and detailing the responses:
What did we do that we did particularly well in our response to the crisis?
What did we do that we could have done better?
What should we do now to best prepare for the next crisis?
This simple process will set you apart from your peers and mark you as being a true business leader, one who is willing to learn and grow from the mistakes of the past and plan for a more successful future for both yourself and your team.
Of course, not every business will survive a major crisis but those who are best prepared with serious review and consideration of the principal risks and challenges likely to arise will be able to respond more quickly, make better decisions in determining the most appropriate courses of action and recover to the extent that they will be able to avail of the opportunities that will arise.
Again, I make the suggestion ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’.