Did You Know
During an organisational crisis, your "ethical switch" can get temporarily and unconsciously turned off, making you vulnerable to (very) bad decision-making. This phenomenon, called ethical blindness, is a temporary, involuntary and unconscious state that is so potent that people who experience it (and make poor decisions) are often shocked and surprised by their own behaviour afterwards. Could this help explain why we see good leaders and employees doing uncharacteristically bad things in a crisis? Here's an overview of the issue and some practical solutions for crisis managers.
Did You Know
In a crisis, your brain starts playing tricks on you just when you need it most to make critical decisions. Under crisis conditions, your brain has a tendency to produce poorer (than usual) decision options for you and deceives you into thinking it's a well reasoned decision.
In 2010, Bruce Schneier gave a great Ted Talk called The Security Mirage and said “..security is two different things: it's a feeling, and it's a reality. And they're different. You could feel secure even if you're not. And you can be secure even if you don't feel it. Really, we have two separate concepts mapped onto the same word". Replace the word “security” with “crisis” and it fits just as perfectly. In practice, corporate crisis management teams are usually (much) stronger at dealing with one or the other: realities or feelings.
Great people and smart teams often underperform (or fail) when they manage a corporate crisis. Research, statistics, and media headlines make this rather clear. Even trained crisis teams from large and well-resourced companies often perform only marginally better. Could we be missing something important in our approach?