Is there anywhere in the society the hope that sooner or later, this ‘boom’ would pass and we would go back to our business as usual? Well, until then, we just have to understand that the party is over, it’s time to deal with the consequences of a recession and walk the road to a change. We’re doing what they call a ‘crisis management’. It is not the time to wait out the crisis. If we still imagine we’re still walking on a pink cloud, it means we learned nothing from what is happening around us and it will soon happen again.

Let’s talk about crisis management now. Of course, the subject has grabbed most of the headlines lately, and few of the aspects are cyclical.

1. Hero crisis manager. Crisis management is seen as an assault of the light cavalry; brave, lethal and dynamic. It’s either feast or famine. It’s either you let yourself drown or survive. It takes energy, determination and some kind of a stony heart to make unpopular decisions and clean up the mess, because the hero manager knows best what needs to be done. Better than anyone else.

2. Technician manager. A technician manager is an expert in crises and in making tough decisions. In hard times, he replaces the poet-manager who has good ideas but largely guided by whim and fancy. He fails to correctly apply measures and above all, he gets too emotional in decision-making process. He is riding out the crisis like riding a lawn mower, out and out and tip to tale.

3. Usual manager. They are usual managers doing management in special contexts. They just do what they usually do, with the restrictions imposed by the moment. Crisis management is in fact a big fat lie. But what is so different about it anyway?

The notion itself of crisis management, as it is defined in literature is based on axioms:

A. Crisis nests in a company or an industry
B. The roots of the crisis are rather intrinsic, mishandled situations or bad decisions made by the prior board.
C. Solutions are within everybody’s grasp, especially for a newcomer
D. The secret of a good management lays in the implementation, execution, in making things actually happen.

It is not the case here however. This crisis is systemic and generalized. The actions reflect the exact opposite:

A. The crisis is general and systemic. The system itself is challenged
B. Its roots are global and intrinsic
C. Nobody can predict what’s next and there is no action pathway with guaranteed success. Planning is a dangerous utopia.
D. The secret of a good management lays in the ability to cope with the change, of being flexible and adaptable.