Leadership in Unconventional Crises

In the opening paragraph of the 2008 report “Unconventional Crises, Unconventional Responses: Reforming Leadership in the Age of Catastrophic Crises and “Hyper complexity” where Erwan Lagadec laid out the initial results of the Unconventional Crises project, a project that aimed to be as unconventional as the events it examined and offered numerous lessons learned that will be very beneficial to those of us who deal with crisis. Building upon these early dynamics to bring their efforts to maturity turned out to be an equally daunting proposition, though the nature of the obstacles may have changed.

“They will “precipitate” around them, as if around an illusory kernel of truth, a comfort zone made up of ponderous hierarchies, preordained plans, and static lines of defense — while the crisis will keep mutating and will thrive on the vast blind zones implied in the label artificially affixed to it. Labels will soothe responders with the false security that they have an exhaustive map of the environment, and trusted guidelines to operate in it; they will stifle curiosity, imagination, and dissent.”

This study “Leadership in Unconventional Crisis” is another outstanding resource that will help law enforcement, first responders and other stake holders continuously improve their ability to function within the “golden hour” of critical incidents. This “golden hour” is defined as the chaotic stage of an incident in which the crisis is still fluid, meaningful information is difficult to obtain and situational awareness seemingly impossible to establish. In this initial period, it is difficult to determine how to set multiple people, groups and agencies on a path towards resolution. This study will increase our ability to apply intuitive sense making strategies that improve the speed and maturity of decision making aimed at working through chaos and toward the implementation of productive crisis operations.

See the full 172 page report here. My hope is you will find it as useful as I.

Stay Oriented!