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How to Manage in Times of Crisis

How to Manage in Times of Crisis
How to Manage in Times of Crisis Ichak Adizes Humanity is facing a major challenge with the coronavirus. It is estimated that up to 60 million people world wide will die. Mostly older people or those with health issues. True , having health issues and being old. they would have died anyway but with the coronavirus we are talking about a major wave in a short window of time of hospitalized and dead people. Health delivery systems will collapse. Beyond 65 mil that will die scientist predict there will be hundreds of millions of sick people who will not be productive for a while till they recuperate. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to realize that such a wave of sick people, collapsing a health delivery system , will cause a major reduction in active customers and thus consumption. And factories will not be able to produce . And logistics companies to deliver. And as revenues shrink, companies are going to fire part of their work force, causing the health crisis to be now also an economic crisis, leading to recession and predictably depression. As unemployment grows and people on the lower level strata of society suffer income wise the most, there will be social unrest making the health and economic crisis be now a social crisis too. The unrest will call for strong government intervention and regulation that some liberal oriented people will consider anti democratic and too authoritarian bordering on dictatorship. That will make the medical – economic- social crisis to be also a political one. In other words, the year 2020 will be remembered and studied by generations of sociologists, medical researches, political science scientists and common men. The question that should occupy us is: what is a company supposed to do with such dire predictions? That is what this book is about. I hope you find it helpful Sincerely Dr Ichak Kalderon Adizes Dr. Ichak Adizes How tot manage in Time of Crisis (And How to Avoid a Crisis in the First Place) ADDITIONAL WORKS BY THE AUTHOR Managing Corporate Lifecycles: An Updated and Expanded Look at the classic work Corporate Lifecycles (2004) The Ideal Executive: Why You Cannot Be One and What To Do About It: A New Paradigm for Management (2004) Management/Mismanagement Styles: How to Identify a Style and What to Do About It (2004) Leading the Leaders: How to Enrich Your Style of Management and Handle People Whose Style is Different from Yours (2004) The Pursuit of Prime (1996) Mastering Change: The Power of Mutual Trust and Respect in Personal Life, Family, Business and Society (1993) How to Solve the Mismanagement Crisis (1979) Self-Management: New Dimensions to Democracy (with Elisabeth Mann-Borgese) (1975) Industrial Democracy, Yugoslav Style: The Effect of Decentralization on Organizational Behavior (1971) To view a full list of all available Adizes Institute publications, or to place an order, please visit www.adizes.com/store (http://www.adizes.com/store) © 2009 Dr. Ichak Adizes Published by Adizes Institute Publications 1212 Mark Avenue Carpinteria Santa Barbara County, California, USA 93013 805-565-2901; Fax 805-565-0741 Website: www.adizes.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, by any means (including electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without permission of the author and the publisher. Library of Congress Control Number: 2009902144 Design and layout by RJ Communications LLC, New York Printed in the United States of America Additional copies may be ordered from www.adizes.com (http://www.adizes.com/). Acknowledgments I want to thank my associates Nebojsa Caric (Adizes South East Europe), Sunil Dovedy (Adizes USA), and Carlos Valdesuso (Adizes Brazil) for their most helpful comments on an early draft. My thanks go to Nan Goldberg for editing my speech and Emily Garvin for copy editing the final draft. Recognition The following is an edited version of a presentation made at IBS—the Academy of Economics of the Russian Federation—on November 14, 2008. Dr. Adizes is the honorary scientific advisor to IBS, from which he received an honorary doctorate in 2007. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation, for all crises bring progress. Creativity is born from anguish, just as the day is born from the dark night. It is in crisis that inventiveness, discoveries, and grand strategies are born. He who overcomes crisis overcomes himself, without himself being overcome. He who blames his failure on a crisis neglects his own talent, and is more respectful of problems than of solutions. The true crisis is the crisis of incompetence. The greatest fault of both people and nations is the laziness with which they attempt to find the solutions to their problems. There is no challenge without crisis. And without challenges, life becomes a routine, a slow death. Without crisis, there is no merit. It’s in a crisis that we can show the very best in us, because without crises every wind becomes a mere caress. To speak about a crisis is to promote it, and yet to be silent about a crisis is to promote conformity. Let us work hard instead. Let us stop, once and for all, the crisis of our tragic unwillingness to overcome challenges.     Albert Einstein RIGHT NOW, IN 2009, the world is in a deep financial crisis. It affects everyone, particularly companies that are undergoing a transformation into an increasingly competitive economy and experiencing rapid and continual economic, political, and technological changes: companies that must have access to credit in order to continue developing. In general, people don’t like crises. Although the dictionary meaning of “crisis” is an upheaval or turning point that causes a decisive change—for worse or for better—the word usually has a negative connotation. When people hear the word “crisis,” they automatically assume it’s a disaster. Most people dread crises, and that goes even more for managers of organizations, who must worry about protecting their organizations’ existence. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And here is why. Let us start with an analogy. You probably remember that back when you were a child, your parents told you, “Do not take a hot shower and then go outside in the cold weather! You will catch a cold!” Well, I always wondered why I would catch a cold if I went outside with wet hair in freezing temperatures, while in Finland and Russia people like to go to the sauna, sweat, then go outside and roll in the snow. It makes them feel invigorated! Some people in Siberia, including the aged, dig a hole in the ice on a lake or river, then dive into the freezing water—and they also feel invigorated! If I did that I would probably get pneumonia and die. Why the difference? What we have to realize is that it’s not the cold that makes us sick. It is the rapid change from hot to cold. But that still doesn’t explain why people in Finland become invigorated by the quick change from hot to cold, while the same change makes me sick. It’s all about the strength, or lack of strength, of your organism. If your organism is robust, change makes you stronger. But if you’re weak, change can kill you. This phenomenon does not apply only to people but to organizations, too. Organizations that are prepared to deal with change are invigorated by it. Those that are not fall ill and risk bankruptcy. What does it mean to have a “strong organism”? Does it mean to have big muscles? No. It means that the organism is strong enough to deal with change. It is strength not of physique but of the capacity to handle change. In order to understand what it means to have a strong organization that is capable of handling change, we should first discuss how change causes organizational “diseases.” By understanding the causes of problems created by change, we will be able to identify the appropriate remedy. Change is nothing new. Change has been here forever, for billions of years. What is new is that the rate of change is accelerating, faster and faster and faster… Our grandparents probably made one strategic decision in their lifetimes (to move to a new city, change jobs, etc.), and our parents made strategic decisions every fifteen or twenty years. We might make strategic decisions every ten years, and most probably, our children are going to make strategic decisions every couple of years, maybe even every year. The nature of change and its repercussions THE INCREASING RATE of change has repercussions. When change occurs, problems arise: what to do in the new situation or with the new events facing us. As change accelerates, problems are attacking us faster. Everybody has more problems than they can handle. People are falling behind faster and getting more and more stressed. But when we solve the problem, what happens? The solution itself is a cause of change, which now creates new problems. So, the more problems we solve—guess what? —the more problems we have. The end result is that we will always have problems. Why can’t we have no problems? People often have expectations that if only they follow this system, if only they follow this religion, if only they follow this book, if only they follow this ideology—if only they do this or that—they will have no more problems. That is the promise of all religions and all political ideologies. But that’s utopian. The truth is, you can stop having problems only when there is no more change. And that means when you are…dead. Dead! Think about it: The quietest place in town is the cemetery. Nothing is happening there. To be alive, by definition, means to have problems. If you don’t have problems, don’t worry, they’re on their way. Life is problems. Why? Because change creates problems, and change is life. (A Google search produced 3.8 million hits for the expression “Life’s a bitch and then you die.”) Only when there is no life will there be no change, and only then will we have no problems. Or at least that is what we think—because so far no one has come back from the hereafter and told us differently. Problems come with the territory called living, and the faster the rate of change in your life or your company, the more problems you will have. So, your first Take-home Value is: If you have problems, relax! You are in good company. You are alive. And if you believe you don’t have problems, then your biggest problem could be that you do not recognize your problems. I once had a client in the software business. The company grew very rapidly: 100 percent a year. When its managers complained to me about how many problems they had, I asked them, “What do you expect? With that rate of growth and, thus, change, you must have lots of problems. That is normal.” It is normal to have problems. We have already covered that. But when you cannot handle a problem caused by change—aha!—now you have a problem that is abnormal. And if you do not solve the abnormal problems, over time they can become fatal problems. That is what is happening to the big automotive companies of Detroit. They have been so slow in responding to market needs, for so long, that now no loans or donations will save them. Why? Because they are no longer facing normal problems. Now they seem to be facing fatal problems. Problems change in their severity over time. But having bigger problems does not necessarily mean that the situation is worse. One year I sent a greeting card to all my clients wishing them a happy and productive new year. My wish was: “May you have bigger problems in the coming year than the ones you had this passing year…” At the bottom of the card in small letters, it read: “… that you can handle successfully.” You are as big as the problems you can handle. So having bigger problems is not a sign of dying, it is a sign of growing. Let us assume that this year you face the problem of how to successfully sell your product regionally. Several years later, you have the bigger problem of how to manage sales nationally; still later, you have problems managing an international company; and eventually you face the problem of how to convert an international company into a well-managed multinational. Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/ichak-adizes/how-tot-manage-in-time-of-crisis/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.
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