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Over the years, I have worked with several industries to manage their crises. Today, they are all experiencing a new type of crisis, with increasing demand from all stakeholders (employees, customers, community, authorities, suppliers), with challenges that continue to grow in size and scope day by day. This may be the biggest challenge they have ever faced.

Organizations, many of which were built many years ago, were created for stability and reliability. As the world's economies have become knowledge economies, and now sharing and creative economies, many of these same organizations have remained stationary, unable to break away from the tried and true.

Today, these same organizations find themselves in a world described as volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous... and they wonder how to cope, what will happen next, and how to survive.

The organizations most at risk are those that have not anticipated and prepared for change. They are also the ones whose visions were never clear, their thinking was Cartesian and innovation was absent.

How to stop the clock, save lives and prepare for a better future? How do we prevent such pandemics from destroying us, our community, our economy, our families and our way of life?

The answers to these questions depend on three things: your mindset as a leader, the context you create, and the perspective you have for moving forward. Which means what kind of boss are you, and more importantly, what kind of boss are you willing to be.

What follows is a toolkit for change that leaders need to adopt, and quickly:


There are four habits that can help us evolve and improve our ability to deal with higher levels of complexity and uncertainty. These four habits are easy to implement:

Ask different types of questions:

• Ask yourself and your employees how and where to best focus your attention to help them do a better job. TRUST

• Don't ask why something went wrong or who did it. Instead, ask why it went wrong. Ask your role in it TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and accept blame

• Ask someone in your organization "How would you do it differently" and give them the green light AUTONOMY and MOTIVATION

• Show interest in your employees; EMPATHY. 

• Ask them how you can help them get there "Where do you want to be in the organization in 3 or 5 years?" And "How can I help you achieve your goals?"

Adopt multiple perspectives

• Listen to what is not being said

• Be grateful for different opinions

• Don't punish those who disagree

• Accept when you are wrong

• Reward your employees for their participation

• Be the last to speak

Develop a systemic view

• Don't be linear in your thinking. Look at different points of view.

• Look at the organization as a whole, not isolated incidents

• Don't isolate incidents / events

• Make your organization more horizontal by including as many people as possible from start to finish

• Finally address the root causes, not the symptoms

• Look at the whole picture; step back to see what is possible

Adopting these changes is so critical that our survival depends on it. I believe there are strategies for learning not only to survive, but to thrive.



This requires freedom, creativity, speed, flexibility and a corporate culture that connects people to the organization. This connection becomes more important and can be put at the center of leadership in an even more decisive way.

The economy will not be the same, your patients will behave differently because their needs will not remain the same, your employees, if you manage to keep them will look for a different kind of boss, an inclusive management, working conditions...


The right perspective

• Be present and available and take action 

• Explain your decisions and don't just give orders

• Be honest and share only the facts

• Share information and your thoughts

Pull and not distract:

• Give everyone a purpose and keep people together (don't allow conflict).

• Provide updates so they don't have to rely on gossip or fake news

• Stay positive and lead the way to a better future

• Tend to individual concerns

D. Emphasize Optimism, Not Fear

A crisis reveals one of two things, fear or optimism:

• Make fear prevail: Fear of the unknown, loss of confidence, pessimism, depression. These will certainly lead you to lose your leadership status and accelerate the loss of control over your employees and your company.

• Prevail optimism, accept things as they are and prepare yourself to see the opportunity that these difficult times have created: Ford Motors is now making fans. Amazon is partnering with local delivery companies (usually competitors), many local businesses have transformed (over 2 types of leaders?), New York's largest theaters are now the best-run hospitals, and all of this is the result of optimistic leaders leading the way.

By adopting a changing mindset, allowing the mind to unlearn old behaviors and learn new ones, by being flexible and adaptive, leaders can gain an advantage in this uncertain and complex environment.

Article rédigé par M. Lotfi Saibi directeur de 4dlh 
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