Crisis is a costly kind of action learning, especially if we don’t learn from it.
Toward the end of the film (Titanic), Jack encouragingly tells Rose: “we’re gonna make it Rose.” Then as conditions change, he shifts his message to: “you’re gonna make it Rose”… powerfully exhorting her to persevere with out him.
TELL ME AGAIN HOW APOCALYPTICALLY INSPIRED YOU ARE…
If your company was flunking its adaptability and velocity standards PRE CRISIS, but is surprising you during the crisis, don’t misread the sudden spike of adaptability.
This shared experience of crisis has given us permission to do what we could have been doing all along. This shared experience of crisis has the potential to help us be more human. For most of us (not on the front lines), this feeling will be fleeting. Just because we experienced it together, it doesn’t mean that we all learned it. There are plenty of things that I didn’t learn the first few times they were taught to me. It wasn’t until years later that I actually learned it. These crisis-induced culture norms will likely be just as temporary as the crisis. These upgraded internal culture norms will not stick around as long as the external changes will — but maybe they could.
Unless we learn HOW the increased adaptability is happening and exactly WHY the crisis conditions (e.g., “wartime” culture norms) seem to have made it possible for us to break free from deeply engrained, old habits, there’s very little chance that our company will develop mastery of unlocking our surprisingly adaptive potential, let alone sustain any of these short term spikes. The culture resiliency will be as episodic as the crisis itself.
CRISIS IS A COSTLY KIND OF ACTION-LEARNING. I DON’T RECOMMEND IT.
Crisis is awful. It is especially awful for the people on the front lines and for populations of…