Managing through change and crisis

A series on management basics and more


Managing through change and crisis requires additional focus and attention. A major crisis demands an immediate action response. An event such as an accident, explosion, lightning or shooting will call for action with little or no time for thinking. Immediate action needs to happen with focus on the crisis, strategic intent, a calm state of mind and a confident specific response. It might be giving CPR, making a 911 call or finding a quick escape route. The best way to prepare to manage a crisis is awareness of appropriate options and actions to take. You can do this by attending emergency procedure training. No matter where you are at home, work or in the community, those skills can be a matter of life or death.

Most of the time, we will be dealing with the challenges of multiple changes and a relatively minor crisis. These, too, are situations where serious strategizing and careful handling are important. Here are areas to keep in mind during such times:

• Keep the scope of all matters in mind. It is like a “train” of normal life and work that keeps going down the track and you now have additional matters to be addressed. The changes and/or crisis may be the immediate need, yet keep your eyes (the third one included) on the usual concerns as well. It is a matter of integrating, juggling and magic. Intuition is required.

• Recognize the primary importance and specific consequences of the issues regarding the changes and/or crisis before you. The issues can be internal, external or both. Think short term and long term. Focus on what you want as the result of a process or plan to handle the matters before you. Be careful not to focus on what you don’t want. What you want is a focus on creating versus fighting fires.

• Use a temporary team of a few key folks to create a plan. In some cases, this will be a one- or two-day matter to be addressed and resolved. Take adequate time to do what needs to be done. This is an opportunity to learn and use your newly gained insights to improve, revise and create.

• Work your plan to deal with the changes/crisis. As you continue to do your normal daily work, integrate any relevant learning into normal processes. Measure, monitor and track the results in accordance with your plans.

• Document your experiences to include successes, shortfalls and questions to be resolved. Throughout the process, keep communication open with all folks involved sharing ideas, questions and concerns.

• When all is resolved and things return to normal, come together to share a time of recognition, appreciation and to celebrate what you have learned.

• Changes, crisis and the regular daily routines are all opportunities to learn, grow and develop. Enjoy all!

Linnartz – of Empowerment Experts – is a consultant, coach and facilitator of individuals, teams, families and organizations. Comments, questions and suggested topics are welcome. Call (575) 770-4712 or email