Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Crisis Management" in Winning by Jack Welch pgs.147-161

"Crises will happen. As long as [organizations] are made up of human beings, there will be mistakes, controversies, and blowups" (pg. 147). Jack Welch gives 3 principles that will help leaders successfully navigate through a crisis: (1) "Assume the problem is worse than it appears" (pg. 149). Welch believes that leaders often waste time denying that a huge problem exists. Denying the problem allows the problem to become worse. Rather than falling into this trap, leaders must face the problem and assume the absolute worst. (2) "Assume you and your organization's handling of the crisis will be portrayed in the worst possible light" (pg.149). Fabrications will come from both internal and external sources. Therefore, Welch stresses that leaders must communicate their vantage of the crisis early and often. In addition, leaders must be able to handle harsh criticism and remain true to their own convictions. (3) "Assume there will be changes in processes and people" (pg.149). Leaders often naively assume that their organization can survive the crisis without having to undergo change. Welch believes that the blessing of a crisis is in the transformation it produces. Every organization that survives a crisis always emerges on the other side "smarter and more effective" (pg.149). Do you believe that this is true in the Church? After reading these principles, which do you think will be most difficult for you to follow when you are required to lead your organization through a crisis? The most difficult for me will be #2. I hate criticism! :)


  1. I can definitely see the value in the what the author is saying in steps 1 and 2 but at the same time, I also think there is a danger with that mindset of making crisis’s out bigger than they are too which can create a problem in itself. Perhaps in our own minds as the author is noting assume the worst in order to make sure we are covering all of our bases in the managing of the crisis. But at the same time I think it would be beneficial to not let that mindset come out to everyone around us because there might be a tendency for people to label a leader as an “over dramatic” and always making “mountains out of mole hills.” I think this also may tie in with being able to take criticism well and learning to try and not take it personal which often leads to turning criticism as a personal attack whether it is or not. I appreciated how the author noted the importance of change in this process and the transformation that it can produce. As the author said, leaders cannot “naively assume that their organization can survive the crisis without having to undergo change.”


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