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Archive: April 26, 2009 - May 2, 2009

Ready with a Playbook

It appears public officials have already taken the biggest step toward preventing panic over the swine flu: being ready with a playbook. When a crisis hits, there's no substitute for preparation.

By John R. Ryan | April 30, 2009; 2:16 PM ET | Comments (0)

Military-Style Planning

The foundation for judgment and actions in time of crisis are embedded in the strategic plans and standard procedures to deal with anticipated crisis events.

By Col. Charles D. Allen | April 29, 2009; 2:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

The Measuring Stick

When a crisis occurs, leaders learn whether they have invested the proper attention to building the trust, confidence and transparency necessary to successfully negotiate the uncertainty that come along with these events.

By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | April 29, 2009; 11:14 AM ET | Comments (1)

Shooting the Panicked Cow

Cowboys used to shoot the cow that was leading the stampede. We can't do that, but here is some practical advice for leaders confronting scary situations like swine flu or major corporate change.

By Alan M. Webber | April 29, 2009; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (0)

360-Degree Communication

Every potential or real crisis has its own personality but the imperative to communicate, communicate, communicate up, down and across, through multiple modes and from trusted messengers never varies.

By Patricia McGinnis | April 29, 2009; 10:51 AM ET | Comments (0)

Low-Flying Planes

The lack of any forewarning about the flight of two airplanes yesterday over lower Manhattan is an example of the panic that can be caused because of poor communication. The administration should be sure to communicate clearly in this case.

By Pablo Eisenberg | April 28, 2009; 2:56 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama's Challenge

We'll soon find out how quickly the Obama administration can "reboot" the public sector to be effective, reliable and capable of meeting the challenges that only a professionalized executive branch can effectively meet.

By Elizabeth Sherman | April 28, 2009; 1:28 PM ET | Comments (1)

The Most Important Behavior

While the greatest of leaders cannot ensure that panic won't arise, leaders in every sector have demonstrated that calm, rational, visible behavior at the top has remarkable impact.

By Walter F. Ulmer, Jr. | April 28, 2009; 10:40 AM ET | Comments (0)

Katrina, 9/11 and Tylenol Lessons

When we are potentially panicked, what we want from those in authority is (1) to be present, (2) to feel our pain or anxiety, and (3) to be reassuring verbally and by action without being disingenuous.

By Marty Linsky | April 28, 2009; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Treat Us Like Adults

Organizational cultures that value authentic conversations and treat employees as responsible adults fare better under a wide range of challenges.

By Gail S. Williams | April 28, 2009; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

Test of Leadership

Communicating during a potential pandemic is the ultimate exercise in crisis management and a great test of leadership. A leader has to strike the perfect balance in tone - cautious but not alarmist.

By Yash Gupta | April 28, 2009; 9:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Stop the Worrying

The most important thing for the national leadership to do in a case like this is simply not to lend any credibility to the suggestion that there's anything to panic about.

By Mickey Edwards | April 27, 2009; 3:22 PM ET | Comments (0)

SARS Corporate Playbook

The private sector response -- especially for large global organizations -- is critical because many individuals look first to their employer, and its medical staff, for help in times of global health threats.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | April 27, 2009; 2:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Not Yet Scared Enough

In the AIDS epidemic, public officials were too slow in shutting bath houses and protecting the blood supply. Hopefully, this panic over swine flu will lead to precautionary measures.

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | April 27, 2009; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (1)

Tell the Truth

Efforts to "protect the public" seldom work anyway - and usually come back later to haunt the people who were withholding information.

By Marshall Goldsmith | April 27, 2009; 11:20 AM ET | Comments (0)

Explain Precautions

When confronting any threat -- terrorism, stock-market swings, swine flu -- public officials should not only make sound recommendations but explain the reasoning behind them, so we can make our own decisions.

By Howard Gardner | April 27, 2009; 11:12 AM ET | Comments (0)

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