Nine Strategic Ways To Handle A Company Crisis Calmly And Competently - Michael O’Keith Smith

Point of View
5 min readFeb 5, 2023
Image from Unsplash by Adeolu Eletu

“Leading a business can be like a roller coaster: There will always be ups and downs.”

In a perfect world, we would love for businesses to run smoothly and according to plan, but there is no doubt that there are obstacles along the way. How a company handles a crisis, comes with the ropes of growth and the future structure of the company. So how does a leader exercise proper procedure while preserving efficient workflow? I recently read an article from Forbes, Nine Strategic Ways To Handle A Company Crisis Calmly And Competently by the Expert Panel, Young Entrepreneur Council and it clearly outlined key steps for a leader on how to overall manage crisis.

1. Reflect On Your Mission Statement And Core Values

“Leaders need to take bold actions and set clear objectives early on in a crisis before a lack of communication leads to confusion and further discourse. A clear mission statement and a strong set of principles serve as the lighthouse a company needs in a storm.”

When there is a clear objective, the road to achieving it will be clear as well. The leader needs to echo it and project as a role model for others to follow. Doing so will bring confidence to members that the leader is knowledgeable and capable of situations and to put their trust in them.

2. Take Care Of Your Staff First

“Team will work out solutions and stand together against sudden crises and circumstances. So take care of the lower-level staff as well as the most senior leaders.”

Just like leaders, when staff hears of uprising issues, they will panic as well and jump to conclusions. Leaders need to communicate the crisis as well as solutions to ensure staff that the company will pull through. Staffs are an important asset to the company, so caring for them will protect the company during tough times.

3. Focus On Solutions

“1. What is the solution?

2. Will the problem affect a client?

3. Why did it happen?”

Finding a solution can be a difficult process but leaders need to come up with a single solution that benefits all, stakeholders, staff, and clients. Doing so will create trust with clients, form a bond with staff and learn from mistakes. Once the root of the cause is determined, it is imperative to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

4. Understand That Everything Comes In Waves

“Like facing the crest of a wave, what you might perceive to be a risk or even a crisis will always be followed by calm. While you may not know when the more gentle tide can be expected to arrive, you can focus on getting to that moment by methodically thinking through the outcomes you can imagine, positive and negative, and trying to come up with an action plan for each instance.”

As a company is growing and becomes more successful, there are bound to be bumps on the road. Just when you thought you crossed the hill, there’s a mountain up ahead. In every industry, there is a competitor that will always try to one-up you but when have solutions to overcome each possible risk, the company will come out stronger.

5. Consider The Big Picture

“As a leader, it’s important to consider the big picture and constantly look ahead to the future. In a crisis, every second matters and urgent decisions that must be made in the moment can have lasting ramifications.”

There’s no denying that solutions and procedures are tedious conduct because it is ever-changing just like the market. But having a clear mission and vision will help narrow down the choices and come to a conclusion more quicker. When you think of the big picture, you know which path to take to get to the company’s goal more quickly.

6. Be Organized

“A well-organized, productive and coordinated team will likely be prepared and able to work through a tough situation. So, it’s vital to promote quick and hassle-free communications, set weekly standards and analyze every employee’s work. Staying organized shows your team that the situation is under control.”

Being calm and collected during a crisis is expected from a leader if you ever want the crisis to be averted. The staff looks up to leaders for guidance and assurance, so as leaders when you stay organized, it indirectly informs your staff that everything is under control and would also relieve them of any panic.

7. Create A Response Team

“It’s the leader’s responsibility to create an internal committee or task force dedicated to resolving the issue in a collaborative and transparent manner. Include a variety of stakeholders and decision-makers in the committee and delegate responsibilities throughout the team.”

A response team is an internal crisis that calls for more than one leader to take initiative as it cannot be resolved through the actions of ONE person alone. When you have the right strategy and the right people from departments, it can help you find a cordial solution that will be communicated to individuals relevant to the company.

8. Tackle One Problem At A Time

“The issue with crises is that they are overwhelming because they often consist of several problems at once. It’s tempting and it may even seem healthy to try and resolve multiple issues at the same time.”

As we mentioned before that everything comes in waves, but there will also be times when there will be multiple issues at a go. At the time, it may seem efficient to solve two things at once but will the solution work for both situations? Being careless is the least a leader would want to be. Therefore, it is beneficial to solve one problem first and move on to the next to give yourself the mental satisfaction that one problem on your list has been cleared and you are ready for another.

9. Know Your North Star

“Your goal cannot just be to “get through this crisis.” It has to be focused and specific.”

A North Star is a standard the company prides itself in, whether it be accountability or transparency. A crisis can happen for many reasons, aside from figuring out a solution, a leader has to find out the root of the cause and how to build a strategic response that is deeper, more authentic, and more strategic.

As an individual who has experience in developing and executing corporate and business strategies and skills in crisis management initiatives, this article resonated with my belief in how a crisis should be handled to upkeep the productivity and efficiency of the company while being a dependable and strategic leader. Going through a crisis in a company is an eye-opening experience as well as a growth development for a leader that will show in the long run.

Connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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