The crisis hits and its all hands to the pump. Suddenly everyone pulls together, decisions are made, actions are taken and the organization is working together like never before. After many long and weary hours, the crisis is averted and things start to settle down. The CEO thanks everyone and praises them all on how well they pulled together as a team. A crisis could be a product recall, a major software bug, lack of emergency medical supplies, cash flow constraints, a shortage of resources or a large rush order.
And then, it’s back to normal, and by normal we mean not in a good way!
So what’s the difference? Imagine if we all worked together like that everyday.
When there is a crisis many practices come into play. First of all, a mission statement materializes which is outcome focused, “get us out of this crisis”. This provides a basis to make decisions, “what is the best option to get us out of this crisis, now?”. Secondly the vertical functional silos open up. No one has time to fight over budgets, headcount, job roles, as everyone jumps in to do what is needed to fix the situation. Multi skilled teams form that are aligned to achieving the outcome, fixing the crisis. And that’s why everyone pulls together, decisions are made, actions are taken and the organization is working together like never before.
However once the crisis is averted the lack of an outcome based mission statement again makes decision making difficult, the vertical functional silos reappear, and it is back to business as usual.
But this doesn’t need to be the case. We can work together, all the time, focused on the outcome we produce for our customers.