Moving On: Recovering from a Crisis

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.

– Oscar Wilde

When the dust begins to settle, you can all too easily snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by prematurely deciding that a crisis is over. Listen to your customers, suppliers, staff and others with an interest in what you do, because they’re better placed to tell you when you can shift back to business as usual. A company that unilaterally decides that a crisis is over and behaves accordingly is very likely to alienate those it depends on for its business.

warning_bomb.eps Don’t appear uninterested in those who’ve suffered or been disadvantaged at this time. Of course you need to return to normality, but remember to do so with care and sensitivity and think carefully about how your behaviour looks from a variety of perspectives.

A critical, but often overlooked, part of managing the recovery is to close the circle: that is, to identify and learn the lessons from the whole experience. Many organisations use the terms ‘lessons identified’ and ‘lessons learned’ interchangeably, but they’re quite different things:

check.png The process of identifying lessons is one of finding them, recording them and sharing them.

The process of learning lessons is the cultural business of effecting change on the basis of ...

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