Crisis Leadership Playbook

By McChrystal Group

Operating in crisis is challenging not because you need to develop new and complex processes but rather because your success will be determined by your ability to commit to the basics with rigorous discipline calibrated at the right speed. We know from both the battlefield and corporate crises that employing intuition in high-stress environments becomes progressively difficult. Give yourself every advantage possible with the quick reference tools and guides contained in the updated Crisis Leadership Playbook written by people who wished they had them when they were in your position.

Crises are a natural function of all organizations in competitive industries. But when crises arise, the best-prepared organizations know that their standard practices can no longer meet the demands of the current reality. To adjust, they must effectively re-focus their efforts before rapidly moving to act. This document outlines our Leading through Crisis Framework:

SECTION 1: LEADING THROUGH CRISIS

Leaders are critical in crisis response. It is imperative they take the required actions to keep their organizations resilient and teams committed.

SECTION 2: ASSESS YOUR OPERATING ENVIRONMENT

Define the internal and external reality. Develop a prioritized plan informed by what you know (i.e., facts) and what you believe to be true (i.e., assumptions).

SECTION 3: ALIGN YOUR TEAM ON THE PRIORITIZED PLAN

Decide on the plan, horizontally coordinate it across your leadership team, and vertically cascade it throughout your organization. Institute simple rules for communication and establish feedback loops to receive the necessary data for adjusting your plan when the environment inevitably changes.

SECTION 4: ACT ON THE PLAN

With the plan in hand, leaders must execute and bring it to life. Avoid keeping strategies and planning documents within a vacuum by actively pressure testing and effectively communicating and to deliver the plan.

SECTION 5: AVOID BURNOUT AND DRIVE ENGAGEMENT

Stress is exacerbated in crisis as employees recalibrate their drivers of engagement. Leaders who recognize how motivated.

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