Following the Sept. 11 attacks, a consensus emerged that cockpit doors should be reinforced and fitted with elaborate locks. This was an eminently sensible idea. Then last year, a pilot named Andreas Lubitz boarded Germanwings Flight 9525. When his captain left the cockpit, Lubitz locked the door, took the controls, and guided the plane into the French Alps, killing himself and 149 others. On the voice recorder, his panicked colleagues could be heard in the background smashing against the reinforced door, again and again, in a futile attempt to stop him. It may be that the safest thing to do in response to Malaysia Flight 370 is something that almost defies human intuition: nothing at all. The Hard Truth About Malaysia 370, Bloomberg Businessweek, March 14, 2016.
Sometimes the best thing about a crisis is that it gives us the opportunity to fix things that we could not fix when things were going well enough. The flip side is that too often the crisis is used to justify all sorts of things that mean well but are not based upon a deep understanding of the problem we think we need to solve (alcohol prohibition, war on drugs, war on cancer, gun control, etc.). The wisdom is in deciding what to do in our case. Choose wisely and we can launch our team to new heights of productivity and success. Choose poorly and we just layer on more things that get in the way of making real progress.
How are you leveraging the periodic crises in your project?