Why ignoring growth during a crisis is never a wise move.

by Allecia Harley, MPH on October 7, 2021

Growth in a Crisis 3

Can you imagine being in the room with three larger-than-life personalities working on a deal that would please their citizens back home, create stability in war-torn Europe, and be palatable to each of the men at the conference table? Discussing the post-World War II reorganization of Germany and much of Europe were President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin. I assume the outcome would have been different if they were meeting in their home offices over Zoom, but I digress.

During this conference, Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”  He was referring to this limited opportunity to accomplish things never before thought possible – a meeting that would lead to the formation of the United Nations.

(Now that’s putting a crisis to work!)

When you face a challenge, don’t stunt the growth of your organization by simply applying a fix. Use this moment as a springboard to build capacity where it didn’t exist before.

Here are three tips:

  1. Ask yourself, how can we work through this situation and be stronger on the other side?
  2. Take a moment to brainstorm and include your leadership team, your trusted advisors, and others that have been through similar circumstances. Don’t settle for simply resolving the problem.
  3. Be savvy. When things are calm, think about the resources you’ll need for just such a rainy day. If you bide your time and minor challenges reach crisis proportions, you’ll be ready with the ask.

Case Study:

I was doing work for a nonprofit health center with a federal audit coming up. The leader was under fire because the documentation provided was insufficient to meet Federal standards.

To address the crisis, I worked with the client to prepare for the audit. While the audit was in progress, we didn't hover nervously or wait for the next shoe to drop. 

We developed a strategy to implement the ideal organizational structure, create more efficient processes, and select appropriately skilled staff to get the work done the right way, the first time.

When the audit was over and the results came, we submitted a corrective and preventive action plan in just a matter of hours. It addressed the data needs, the long-delayed training needed and outlined how to prevent errors in the future.

The leader kept his job, regained the confidence of the Board, and got the go-ahead to launch a new service line.

How do you innovate during a crisis to create growth?


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About the Author

Allecia is a management consultant, entrepreneur, professional speaker, epidemiologist, and the founder and CEO of Prevention Advisory Group.  She specializes in creating Breakthrough Institutional Growth™ (B.I.G.) for her clients and is a frequent speaker at national conferences and events.

About Prevention Advisory Group

Prevention Advisory Group, LLC is a management consulting practice focused on helping clients create breakthrough growth and innovate beyond organizational challenges.

Topics: Leadership, Management, Non-Profit