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Archive: Crisis leadership

Haiti's viral volunteers: How social media is changing the face of crisis response

The online community managed to rapidly organize thousands of these volunteers around technology, regardless of their location, experience, language or culture. Instead of just sending a donation SMS and watching the unfolding tragedy on television, people around the world with no direct affiliation to any traditional humanitarian responders were themselves participating in a large-scale emergency response.

By Lillian Cunningham | January 11, 2011; 08:15 PM ET | Comments (2)

In a networked world, no longer controlling our own destinies

This is the central problem of today's networked world of interdependent security: the risks faced by your part of the system aren't preventable by you alone, they depend on the actions of others as well. Put another, starker way: we no longer control our own destinies.

By Lillian Cunningham | December 29, 2010; 12:26 PM ET | Comments (3)

The threat of politicized intelligence

If new US National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon needs a reminder of how stark the enemy threat is, he need look no further than today's discovery of printer cartridges rigged like explosive devices aboard UPS airliner cargo holds that left Yemen bound for Jewish Synagogues in the United States. A dry run? You bet. And not just to test the holes in air cargo security systems, but to test the reaction time and responsiveness of our national security apparatus.

By Lillian Cunningham | October 29, 2010; 05:47 PM ET | Comments (62)

How bad times make for good conduct

Economics predicts that in good times, self-interest is satisfied and thus more charitable, civilized behavior trumps baser instinct. The full creature gives the hungry one a turn at the trough. There's no reason to commit a crime when one's life is sated, right? It's a nice thought, but it doesn't square with recent history.

By Lillian Cunningham | October 11, 2010; 04:07 PM ET | Comments (8)

Pakistan's challenge: How to lead in the wake of catastrophe

The Pakistani government needs to rapidly learn large-scale disaster management. Many do not appreciate there is a radical difference between traditional disaster management and catastrophic disaster management. In such catastrophes, the resources and...

By Tracy Grant | September 2, 2010; 01:47 PM ET | Comments (0)

Mosque controversy showcases failure to lead American public to understanding

Leadership is, among other things, about framing issues for public understanding. The proposed Islamic center strikes at the very question of who is in part of the American community.

By Ian Saleh | August 23, 2010; 09:43 AM ET | Comments (15)

Will Obama be ready for the next crisis?

Neither political experience nor lack thereof has predicted the effectiveness of a president. Being president is something you learn on the job.

By Ian Saleh | August 13, 2010; 11:18 AM ET | Comments (35)

Smart swarms: The power of self-organization

While we instill a sense of discipline and purpose in every member of our teams, groups in nature are made up of individuals that never see the big picture, never understand how they fit in or even why they're doing what they're doing from moment to moment. Yet these colonies, flocks, and schools not only get by, they thrive and prosper

By Ian Saleh | August 6, 2010; 12:26 PM ET | Comments (14)

Managing risk: Thinking the unthinkable

All of us are ill-equipped to handle the unthinkable because all of us are experts at suppressing the negative. When the unthinkable is woven into the fabric of daily living, it easily loses its identity. Yet decisions must be made in a milieu that includes the unthinkable.

By Ian Saleh | July 30, 2010; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (0)

What the volcano taught me

The challenge is to overcome our natural tendency to assume that a disaster will not happen again.

By Andrea Useem | May 10, 2010; 06:30 AM ET | Comments (0)

Breaking up with Catholic leaders

Catholic leaders and followers turned away from confronting the problems because open thought, open questioning, and open confrontation simply aren't built in to the culture of the church.

By Fahima Haque | April 20, 2010; 07:53 AM ET | Comments (31)

Leadership 'somewhere south of hell'

When the moment came -- when the depth charges were exploding with terrifying proximity, when the submerged vessel was running out of breathable air -- Charlie Rush stepped up and took charge, though his actions that day meant risking everything.

By Andrea Useem | April 5, 2010; 02:33 PM ET | Comments (14)

Overcoming our disaster myopia in Haiti

We tend not to plan for devastating events, like Haiti's earthquake, and then our emotionally driven response is short lasting. Here are four solutions for overcoming our short-term approach to disasters.

By Andrea Useem | January 19, 2010; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (2)

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