12 Lessons from the COVID response in how NOT to administer a crisis.
The Trump Administration’s bungling of the coronavirus pandemic surely should feature in management textbooks. Nearly every little thing that would go incorrect, did go incorrect.
A few of the problems derived from having a top manager who was fundamentally indifferent and seemingly incapable of grasping basic facts. But other problems were attributable to inability to administer the organizational response.
There are actually several books concerning the pandemic response, of which Nightmare Scenario might be best in describing the interior management fiasco. Listed below are a dozen lessons that every crisis manager, in the general public or private sector, should learn:
- Don’t herald your son-in-law, who has no relevant expertise or experience, as your troubleshooter. Even when he’s a fast study, a disaster isn’t any time for on-the-job learning.
- Don’t approach an impending disaster solely as a PR problem. Irrespective of how good you might be with PR, if you happen to don’t fix the underlying crisis, you’re going to have PR issues.
- Don’t dither in a crisis. Make a choice and move on. For example, don’t waste weeks attempting to determine what to do with sick people on cruise ships, ignoring the larger problem of protecting the final population. (Also, attempting to keep some deaths “off the books” by having them offshore doesn’t really work.)
- Don’t establish competing power centers to handle an emergency. There was much an excessive amount of conflict inside the COVID response team, and much an excessive amount of energy was sunk into internal power struggles.
- Do have top experts on call. Nevertheless, don’t simply ignore what they inform you concerning the situation. And don’t herald completely unqualified advisors ( you, Dr. Atlas) simply because you want what they said on TV.
- Avoid letting subordinates blockade information coming from their very own subordinates.
- Do understand that logistics matter. Massive amounts of fabric, information, or employees, aren’t going to be deployed effectively without planning. Learn from Ulysses S. Grant: logistics was his secret weapon through the Civil War.
- Avoid changing your messaging on a every day basis. In a quickly evolving situation with quite a lot of uncertainties, changes in messaging are unavoidable. But don’t compound the issue by continuously flip-flopping.
- Avoid making key personnel decisions based solely on an individual’s willingness to fawn over you. Like cotton candy, fawning is great within the short run but lacks dietary value.
- Do take heed to the people who find themselves on the front lines, coping with the issues on a every day basis — reminiscent of, on this case, state governors.
- Avoid basing decisions on fantasies, reminiscent of the chance that inhaling bleach might cure a disease.
- And definitely don’t pick a reality TV star as CEO.
Good people did struggle to attempt to do their jobs despite the organizational chaos, but they were battling strong headwinds. Seriously, folks, this isn’t any method to run a convenience store on a slow day, let along a rustic within the grips of a pandemic.