Become a Crisis Manager

Become a crisis manager

It is certain that c risis finds us when we are least prepared to handle it. Smart individuals, families, organizations, societies and nations think of a possible crisis when they could be least worried about it.  Human and animal brains have faculty that is alert to possible crisis and prepares the body to face it. However, animals in a protected enclosure and humans who have developed centralized protection systems let that instinctual capacities be in slumber. Similarly, every society and organizations have individuals who voluntarily or involuntarily prepares themselves to handle a crisis, but they are invisible until a crisis emerges. This is an invisible and unsung capacity of crisis managers that they quietly anticipates risks and manage them when they create crisis for the system. Important to note that crisis builds up over time due to a number of mistakes we make and eventually erupt. Only crisis managers notice the crisis evolving in slow motion and prepare themselves to manage it. Societies at times are in such a slumber that, it doesn’t pay heed to indications and early warnings of crisis evolving in slow motion.

While it is not always possible to predict the precise timing of crises, one can avert them by identifying and dealing with sources of instability. For this purpose, decision makers in a given system should strengthen vertical and horizontal intelligence and supervision, identify gifted crisis managers, groom them capacitate them. Safety, sustenance and sustainability of human systems depends on the extent of such preparedness and ability to manage crisis. Simply put, of dynosars who  said to have dominated this planet in the past had this necessary intelligence and tools to forecast crisis and catastrophe, they would have survived and you would be reading this as a dynosar. Lets hope that we develop enough capacities and crisis managers so that the inhabitants on this planet for millions of years to come would retain humans at the center stage.

The most recent crisis that the world faced as whole was collapse of financial systems. According to  Laeven and Valencia (Systemic Banking Crises: A New Database, IMF 2008), the global financial  crises have two elements in common. Virtually all of the countries that suffered a crisis had made serious policy mistakes, and accumulated significant structural vulnerabilities and financial imbalances. In virtually all instances, the crisis was slow to unfold and could have been “spotted” in its early stages and managed better. In all instances, there were underlying vulnerabilities. The root cause of the global financial crisis of 2007–09 traces back to the buildup of excessive optimism The financial markets were very forgiving and often provided policymakers were in deep slumber with a false sense of confidence and assurance. When it became obvious that policymakers were unable or unwilling to address the underlying problems, the financial markets were damaged by a loss of confidence, which eventually led to crises. IMF therefore summarizes that (Initial Lessons of the Crisis for the Global Architecture and the IMF, 2009) summarized that global financial crisis was caused by flaws in financial regulation and supervision; failure of monetary policy to address the buildup of systemic risk; and a weak global financial architecture. The ongoing analysis of global financial crisis tell us that, only those financial systems that have good leaders at the help who promoted vertical and horizontal intelligence and paid heed to early warnings and nurtured excellent crisis managers are able to come out of this crisis with least possible damages.

Key Message: Crisis management begins before a crisis erupts. Therefore, it is important for us to keep our instinctual capacities alive to forecast a crisis, so that we manage it with adequate resources when it embraces us.

Disclaimer: This article is a reflection of author’s personal thoughts, and all rights reserved by SAFE CITIZEN.ORG

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