- Article wrote on November 2010
It took me a while to figure it out how should I approach the subject which constitutes the essence of my consulting service, part of my practice and my experience, in order to have a pertinent perspective or at least to contribute with ”my something ” .
As I tried to take a step backward and look objectively to what the most famous specialists of the world are saying, thinking and presuming in order to write new management books about the crisis topic, I reached the conclusion that they are smarter than me. Or at least, that they know more than I do. They said everything about it.
But still, I couldn’t help asking myself a few simple questions:
– If everyone understands and knows what and how it must be done, why the unpredictable keeps hitting the world, the people, the economy and most of the time it comes by surprise, no matter what?
– Why no book and no theory helped me practically when I had to deal explicitly with the worse crisis issues, both in business and life? Those times when I had to act like a surgeon and needed to have strong resistance for a „hell ride” – what a crisis period is, after all.
Almost everywhere, what we will find about crisis is that we must keep changing in order to be well prepared in dealing with the unpredicted and the unexpected. To make strategy plans. To play ”what if” scenarios, to prepare a lot of stuff in advance. And of course we have no choice but doing it.
But surprisingly, we are never well enough prepared. Each time, sooner or later, here or there, the pink starts turning black. A critical moment appears, after which there are always only two possible outcomes: get better or get worse. No turning back.
So I found myself strained, once again, to apply my basic principle in everything I do, both life and business, when something goes wrong or I just can’t figure it out for the best: going back to the roots.
Do you know or remember that the significance of the word crisis is a Greek noun meaning judgment?
In scriptures, when earthquakes, flows, diseases and other disasters or just bad situations happened to people or states, they said : ”This is the Judgment of God!”. We are also saying the same today. The only difference today is that we are not saying it with the same conviction and belief. As a result, it affects our actions and implicitly the effects we must pay for.
In other words, we can simply see that a crisis is nothing more than a moment of truth. It doesn’t matter if it is related to our personal or professional area of life. Both constitute the main components of our lives and one relates and directly affects the other, in a continuous way.
What is a crisis in its roots? Isn’t it a visible image/effects as a result of the invisible factors/causes?
The problem is that when the invisible turns visible, that’s very painful. That is what we call a crisis situation. And we consider it the unexpected or the unpredicted that we must face. But in fact, there are just the things we weren’t paying enough attention to.
What things? The human nature related things. That’s where the roots are located, in my opinion.
In dramatic or non dramatic fiction, crisis is defined as „the point at which the highest level of interest and emotional response is achieved”.
So, if I were to say, crisis is not a process. Change is a process. The process that affects directly the response to a crisis situation. As humans, from the moment we are inside the womb till the moment of our death, we keep transforming. From a company perspective the situation presents itself the same. So as you might simply observe, it’s all nature.
Back to the roots, I think that change is not the most appropriate word for the process we need to continuously emerge from, because it involves radicalism, and that is why I suppose humans reject it and keep resisting and finally remain stuck or adaptation gets harder. Somewhere, deep in our beings, change is translated as leaving behind something fundamentally important to us.
In reality it’s all about refining, rearranging and redefining. An appropriate word to better assimilate change might be metamorphosis. Or even better, transformation. It doesn’t involve so much radicalism for our “translator”.
If we just simply replace the word crisis with its original meaning judgment –how it would sound like?
Let’s say it loud:
– financial judgment instead of financial crisis
– social judgment instead of social crisis
– environment judgment instead of environment crisis
– business judgment instead of business crisis
– personal judgment instead of personal crisis
Isn’t it obvious? Isn’t it much more easy to see and understand? Isn’t it much more easy to act towards the subtle causes that lead to bad visible effects – that we are used to call crisis?
To conclude, crisis is the modern word for the old word judgment. And as you see a simple word caused us a lot of brainstorming, panic and confusion around the globe, no matter if we are living in developed, underdeveloped or transition economy countries.
Crisis, no matter in what areas it manifests itself, is nothing more than a price for our patterns, convictions and beliefs that we followed till one point. That’s why it automatically involves change.
A crisis situation is nothing more than a moment of truth, in its essence.
From this perspective I believe we must balance our vision, decisions and actions towards crisis in order to approach and act towards it the best way possible on its three main phases: pre-crisis, during and post.
As someone said once: “keeping it simple is the hardest to achieve”.
Is it maybe because we keep twisting words around ?