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Archive: Managing Crises

A new narrative for Egypt

President Mubarak is a symbol of Egypt's old, repressive government--one that the people want to do away with entirely. His narrative of autocratic and unquestioned rule has been found wanting by the people and...

By Rice University Undergraduate Leaders | February 2, 2011; 04:33 PM ET | Comments (4)

A national symbol of oppression

In pursuit of security and stability in the Middle East, the U.S. has traditionally turned a blind eye to autocratic rule as long as it did not...

By Robert Goodwin | February 2, 2011; 03:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

It's impossible to change direction without support

We're operating in a complex, uncertain environment, and effective leadership today requires embracing change, not resisting it...

By Susan Peters | February 2, 2011; 03:18 PM ET | Comments (1)

Authority does not equal leadership

Ultimately, the authority to lead comes from those who choose to follow. When there is a loss of trust...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | February 1, 2011; 03:25 PM ET | Comments (6)

It's not smart to act as though you're indispensable

The longstanding culture can't be altered overnight, even if many new faces are added. The same old boss will be running the show...

By Yash Gupta | February 1, 2011; 02:11 PM ET | Comments (1)

The future for Egypt could look grim

The danger for Egypt, the Middle East and U.S. interests is that the explosive demand for human rights will result in a religious dictatorship even more repressive than...

By Michael Maccoby | February 1, 2011; 02:06 PM ET | Comments (3)

What Mubarak ignored at his peril

It's hard to see how the case of Egypt, where a giant, explosive divide exists between the wealthy elite and the newly energized masses, will...

By John R. Ryan | February 1, 2011; 10:46 AM ET | Comments (3)

Four obstacles for Mubarak

If there is a system where people have been repressed, unemployment is high and emotions have been smoldering, then the pressure builds; and when the cork is pulled out, it is very hard to put it back in...

By Deborah Ancona | February 1, 2011; 10:39 AM ET | Comments (1)

Mubarak's chance for better legacy

As Einstein said, "No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it," and such is the case with Mubarak...

By Alaina Love | February 1, 2011; 10:32 AM ET | Comments (4)

Leadership: Part action, part perception

Although President Mubarak may still hold the 'formal' authority of his role, it's informal authority that is now at stake...

By Amy Fraher | February 1, 2011; 10:27 AM ET | Comments (2)

Egypt needs a new leader

No way can a leader lousy for 30 years become someone poised for greatness in the future...

By Ken Adelman | February 1, 2011; 10:21 AM ET | Comments (4)

Strong leaders know when it's time to change

If a leader is the problem, he must step aside. This is hard for an autocrat to do because his view of self is linked to the destiny of...

By John Baldoni | February 1, 2011; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (9)

Power to the people

Perhaps Kanye West can claim to be the voice of this generation. It seems the often-maligned rapper was peering into the future when he wrote, in his most recent album, that "no one man should have all that power"--a mantra taken up, at least in spirit, by the millions of Egyptians protesting...

By Coro Fellows | February 1, 2011; 07:46 AM ET | Comments (3)

Our role in this tragedy

Our pattern seems to be a brief awakening during a crisis, at which time we are startled and sickened by the horror of what happened, but then we soon return to a semi-conscious state that serves to distance us from...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | January 11, 2011; 07:10 PM ET | Comments (3)

The brave: Salvatore Giunta

Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta represents the potential in all of us to take actions than transcend our self-interest when the moment requires the best from us...

By Michael Useem | December 22, 2010; 05:38 PM ET | Comments (2)

The U.S. auto revivers: Alan Mulally and Ed Whitacre

The two of them deserve enormous credit for restoring America's automobile industry, just when it appeared that American-owned auto companies were a thing of the past. They are doing it "the old-fashioned way": not with short-term moves and...

By Bill George | December 22, 2010; 04:24 PM ET | Comments (7)

The helpful hands: You and your neighbor?

here were those who helped people trapped under rubble. There were those who helped organize others to find water, set up shelters and care for new orphans. There were...

By Deborah Ancona | December 22, 2010; 03:20 PM ET | Comments (1)

The courageous: Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth embodies several leadership traits that we frankly do not see enough of in some of our better-known leaders in business, politics and sports. First, she has plenty to teach all of us about...

By John R. Ryan | December 22, 2010; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (1)

Losing sight of Lincoln: A mid-course resurrection to save Obama's presidency

Remember, back in 2008, when everyone compared Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln? After he was elected president, Obama himself talked about what he was learning from the 16th president. Fast forward to today: no one is talking about those parallels. Only the most foolish among us would put Obama anywhere near the rarefied stratosphere reserved for our most revered leader.

By Nancy Koehn | December 8, 2010; 01:04 PM ET | Comments (19)

Betrayal is a potent weapon

The hardest part of all of this is that the people who supported Obama because he promised to fight for the little guy are feeling betrayed. And betrayal is a potent weapon in party politics that Republicans will cash in on...

By Kathryn Kolbert | December 8, 2010; 11:03 AM ET | Comments (5)

Obama's 'Sophie's choice'

The public should not accept such blatant manipulation or tolerate being held hostage by power plays and positional bargaining. This legislation is neither bipartisan nor optimum. Neither party achieved...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | December 8, 2010; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (2)

Playing from weakness

Obama's strength has been in the results he has won; his weakness has been in a failure to communicate his reasoning for accepting less than he has wanted...

By Michael Maccoby | December 7, 2010; 04:39 PM ET | Comments (4)

The tax cuts show progress

This is the essence of compromise, and gives us at least some hope of a constructive next year or so, perhaps even including...

By Slade Gorton | December 7, 2010; 11:56 AM ET | Comments (2)

Obama's authority is suffering

The president looks bad for making sacrifices and gestures, as with the federal wage freeze, and getting nothing in return from the Republicans. All he got was the back of their hand. Who knows. Maybe this will be the slap that...

By Yash Gupta | December 7, 2010; 10:13 AM ET | Comments (7)

Not the right deal to cut

While some compromise is necessary and should be encouraged, this "deal" does not seem reasonable from a fiscal responsibility and social equity perspective. It seems that President Obama is operating from a position of weakness and the Republicans from...

By David Walker | December 7, 2010; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (10)

Obama needs to take a stand

Obama looks like an individual without strong values for which he is willing to go to the mat--except for the value of mediation and compromise, which does not work when you occupy a role that requires decisions and the appearance of decisiveness...

By Howard Gardner | December 7, 2010; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (4)

On tax cuts, pragmatism vs. principle

The Democrats had an opportunity to tell a story about the tremendous pain that withholding the unemployment extensions could cause to millions, pain which the Republicans were willing to inflict it in order to preserve tax cuts for the wealthy. Yet the debate...

By Coro Fellows | December 7, 2010; 08:22 AM ET | Comments (14)

Compromise is king

Standing up for what you believe to be the right decision is the very definition of leadership. But standing tall for every idea you have is delusional...

By John Baldoni | December 6, 2010; 05:10 PM ET | Comments (2)

Grow up, Washington

We've become a nation of immediate gratification, which has contributed to the current economic debacle, coupled with leadership in Washington that refuses to make the very bold decisions that can right our economy again...

By Alaina Love | December 6, 2010; 04:30 PM ET | Comments (3)

Gridlock has its rewards

It's tragic what Obama has to endure from Republicans, or they from him, or all of us from all of them. So what's new? Our political system was designed thus...

By Ken Adelman | December 6, 2010; 04:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Another kick-the-can solution

If we ever plan to avoid excessive debt, either Republicans will have to demonstrate the courage to raise taxes or Democrats will have to demonstrate the courage to cut spending...

By Marshall Goldsmith | December 6, 2010; 03:04 PM ET | Comments (2)

Sacrifice a little now or a lot later

Both parties want to reward their wealthy contributors, who make up the "elite" and possess no real understanding of how successful nations sustain their greatness--which is by maintaining a meritocracy, where anyone with hard work and smarts can...

By Don Vandergriff | December 6, 2010; 02:59 PM ET | Comments (8)

Obama allowed himself to be politically boxed in

While the left railed against tax breaks for "billionaires," that is not what was on the table. In the end, the president had to compromise because he had staked out a position that was untenable, especially in a time that required providing families with...

By Mickey Edwards | December 6, 2010; 02:23 PM ET | Comments (8)

Equal-opportunity pain delivery

We really do not want our politicians to exercise leadership. We want them to take care of us and deliver any pain that is necessary to someone else. That's why we have...

By Marty Linsky | December 1, 2010; 10:08 AM ET | Comments (3)

The federal budget as metaphor

Our values and beliefs are embedded in the numbers, and changing the balance sheet is about changing ourselves. Balancing the budget is not just a realistic reallocation of resources; it is a metaphor for our belief about the American character...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | December 1, 2010; 09:52 AM ET | Comments (0)

We need more government sacrifice

President Obama's move to freeze federal workers' pay and soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner's jettisoning of his private plane are wise moves, but they are mostly symbolic. Our leaders need to be willing to do more and cut our spending down to the point we are just about to hit bone...

By Robert Goodwin | December 1, 2010; 09:46 AM ET | Comments (6)

Using the presidential bully pulpit

People on the Right see big government and taxes as the main threat to liberty and prosperity. On the Left, people view cutting the federal budget as a threat to the needy. It is unlikely that the president can persuade either extreme to share a common purpose. But...

By Michael Maccoby | November 30, 2010; 11:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Slash and smile, with a stiff upper lip

No need to invent a slash-and-smile playbook. There's one already working--in Britain. David Cameron and Nick Clegg, UK prime minister and deputy, provide a shining model of economic and political leadership. In economics they're slashing everything, from momentous entitlements to emotional health centers...

By Ken Adelman | November 30, 2010; 11:39 AM ET | Comments (0)

The next Congress provides the best opportunity

The American people are conflicted between a horror of mounting debt and deficits and their desire not to have their own benefits slashed, so neither party can be successful alone...

By Slade Gorton | November 30, 2010; 11:34 AM ET | Comments (0)

Leading a moral imperative

Shared sacrifice reinforces the moral imperative of any leadership proposition. And we have a word for men and women who put themselves and their ideas forward for the good of the organization, even when it may mean they have to give up something. We call them leaders...

By John Baldoni | November 30, 2010; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

Americans are starved for fiscal truth

We can do it in an intelligent and phased-in manner before a crisis is at our doorstep; or else it will have to be done in a sudden, dramatic and possibly draconian manner in the face of a crisis. The choice is ours...

By David Walker | November 30, 2010; 11:22 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama needs to go to the mat

It is important to stress, to repeat, that in the latter years of the Clinton administration, there was actually a budget surplus. If we could have a surplus a decade ago, there is no reason in principle that we can't have one some years from now...

By Howard Gardner | November 30, 2010; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (2)

Upending conventional wisdom

It seems that at the root of the spending and tax problem is a deficiency in the behavior of the American public, deepened through citizens' misaligned expectations of their leaders...

By Coro Fellows | November 30, 2010; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (4)

Understanding resistance

New TSA procedures have violated what travelers have previously agreed to, and resistance is neither surprising or unmanageable. People will continue to resist change until they fully understand the need for the change and how their...

By West Point Cadets | November 24, 2010; 01:38 PM ET | Comments (4)

Adding insult to injury

This might be the right time for the TSA to pause and regroup to develop a better implementation plan for improved security considering the passenger travel experience, and despite the cost already invested. It's appropriate to admit that they haven't quite gotten this right...

By Alaina Love | November 24, 2010; 12:59 PM ET | Comments (3)

Security isn't just a technical problem

The TSA put forth what was presumably the technically best set of procedures, one that would reduce the likelihood of a terrorist getting on an airplane to close to zero. That's their job. But in the broader picture, TSA's strategy, whatever it is, will not work unless...

By Marty Linsky | November 23, 2010; 09:18 AM ET | Comments (4)

TSA's right and responsibility

I went through security at the Kansas City airport the first day of the new policy and thought I might get a marriage proposal from the fellow from TSA who administered my search. Had I known that a change had been made, his examination would have been less alarming...

By Paul R. Portney | November 23, 2010; 07:38 AM ET | Comments (14)

Give us liberty (and, while you're at it, save us from death)!

the TSA should launch a public education campaign. Such an effort should be devoid of slick propaganda and clever slogans. Rather, I want statistics as well as evidence of nuanced thinking on the part of the decision-makers.

By Coro Fellows | November 23, 2010; 02:13 AM ET | Comments (10)

TSA's tone-deaf strategy

TSA and Homeland Security appear tone-deaf and unwilling to consider the logical next steps (proctological exam anyone?) of a security strategy that focuses on everyone and on intervention at the last possible moment...

By Jeffrey Pfeffer | November 22, 2010; 08:05 PM ET | Comments (3)

Close encounters of the unpleasant kind

TSA is in a tough spot. Every encounter with the screening process is destined to be unpleasant: inconvenient waits, intrusions into personal privacy, the risks of rude workers--all the fun of dealing with the IRS, with the awful specter of September 11 in the background as the inescapable reason for the encounter to begin with...

By Donald Kettl | November 22, 2010; 07:25 PM ET | Comments (3)

TSA--and politicians--need to make more unpopular decisions

It is the responsibility of the TSA to protect us, period. TSA leaders must be prepared to make unpopular decisions regarding our safety. Our sensitivities and complaints matter, but in this case leadership means doing something unpopular to keep us safe and fulfilling the responsibilities associated with TSA's mission...

By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | November 22, 2010; 07:15 PM ET | Comments (10)

Let's end terrorism hysteria

Airport security should have been handled by contractors. If they did something really stupid--like groin-groping--they could be fired. Government folks can't. Plus, then government would be a step removed from glaring stupidity...

By Ken Adelman | November 22, 2010; 03:40 PM ET | Comments (11)

Not the time to backtrack

It is an appropriate decision that should not be reversed by outcries from the public. The agency should exercise courage in maintaining its important decision...

By Pablo Eisenberg | November 22, 2010; 03:36 PM ET | Comments (2)

A problem of political correctness

The mistake is not so much in the technology, which is seemingly effective, as it is in the rigid political correctness that all travelers be treated as equally threatening...

By Slade Gorton | November 22, 2010; 02:14 PM ET | Comments (2)

Worse than mere hubris

If one merely thinks a proposal is "a good idea" and could be helpful, it is not leadership but hubris to try to impose it against the public will. In the private sector, that bar of "necessity" is very unlikely ever to be reached...

By Mickey Edwards | November 22, 2010; 11:33 AM ET | Comments (5)

Prior success is a powerful narcotic

Sometimes it takes a clear threat to organizational survival to prompt a new way of doing business that is responsive to changes outside of the company. As we have seen with General Motors before the bankruptcy, sometimes even that is not enough...

By George Reed | November 16, 2010; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (1)

The 'mechanics' of leadership

Remember when Rick Wagoner flew by private jet to DC to ask for a bailout? GM's executives ignored the seemingly obvious cost-cutting measure of reducing executive pay--something Toyota enacted without government instruction. A sense of "just" compensation--legitimate or not--prevents both union leaders and executives from making the obvious decision to cut costs...

By Coro Fellows | November 16, 2010; 12:34 AM ET | Comments (1)

GM's 'arrogance' virus

They arrogantly believed that foreign manufacturers were likely to produce lesser products that the American public wouldn't purchase. That is until Toyota came along and ate GM's lunch, Honda their breakfast and European manufacturers their dinner. By the way, GM would be wise to watch out for both Subaru and Hyundai, who are as we speak nibbling on pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres...

By Alaina Love | November 15, 2010; 05:37 PM ET | Comments (3)

Too big to U-turn

A company is asking for trouble when it becomes so big, when its profits are so great, that it believes it can do no wrong. GM's woes are the woes of a company that stopped scanning the landscape to see how the industry could be changing, a company that stuck to the same old formula for success and neglected true innovation, a company that forgot that what worked yesterday won't necessarily work today...

By Yash Gupta | November 15, 2010; 03:57 PM ET | Comments (0)

Laud the White House, not Woodward Ave

A mess as big as GM's could not have been fixed this quickly without the U.S bankruptcy code that allowed GM to wipe out its debt and the millions of dollars infused into the restructured company by the Obama Administration. This took guts and calm at a time when there was no good economic news and vigorous political opposition...

By Kathryn Kolbert | November 15, 2010; 01:18 PM ET | Comments (5)

Reviving a boiled frog

It is so much easier for leaders to rally the troops in response to crisis, because the rationale for change--the "burning bridge"--is evident. But today our organizations are dealing with forces that are so dynamic and fast moving that to wait until there is proof of crisis is to respond far too late. The way that the accelerated pace of change drastically shortens response time was once explained to me in the following manner...

By Carol Kinsey Goman | November 15, 2010; 01:11 PM ET | Comments (0)

Defusing our fiscal time bomb

It will be interesting to see whether President Obama and the new Congressional leadership can pivot after the elections in a manner that will allow some progress in defusing our fiscal time bomb. It clearly is in our nation's interest for them to do so, and hopefully they...

By David Walker | October 26, 2010; 09:58 AM ET | Comments (0)

Popularity is easy when troubles run deep

In times of deep troubles about which there is a high degree of public consciousness, leaders like Chris Christie can make tough decisions and gain at least temporary popularity. Winston Churchill is the perfect example. Such decisions are much more difficult when the dangers are either obscure or distant. Under those circumstances only the bravest of leaders, unafraid of losing their offices, will speak...

By Slade Gorton | October 12, 2010; 09:49 AM ET | Comments (1)

Time is now for imam to speak on mosque

The motivation for leaders to speak varies. It might be a matter of conscience, the heat of political pressure, affiliation and loyalty to a group, an opportunity to influence, a chance to exploit the situation for personal gain, or just flagrant egotism. We have observed behavioral manifestations of all of these in the past year. The controversy over the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque ...

By Katherine Tyler Scott | August 24, 2010; 02:54 PM ET | Comments (14)

Paradise lost

Tiger the athlete is supremely disciplined and smart. We thought the person was, too. Sadly, Tiger the person appears to be extraordinarily undisciplined and stupid.

By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | December 9, 2009; 10:25 AM ET | Comments (2)

Heavy-Handed Management

You simply can't beat up on people in contract negotiations and then expect them to feel good about working for you after the dust has settled.

By Yash Gupta | May 6, 2009; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

What's the Purpose?

Leadership in the union or management would be about having the courage to skillfully disappoint their own people on behalf of the more noble purpose of ensuring the long term survival of that crucial civic institution known as the Boston Globe.

By Marty Linsky | May 6, 2009; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Costly Status Quo

The lesson we keep learning, as individuals, companies, industries, and perhaps a country, is that change isn't the real risk. Not changing is the real risk.

By Alan M. Webber | May 6, 2009; 10:11 AM ET | Comments (0)

Brass Tacks

The Times, with its own problems taking precedence, can't be forced to continue to pay for a bad bargain.

By Slade Gorton | May 5, 2009; 03:28 PM ET | Comments (0)

Never Bluff

This question has a short answer.

By Norm R. Augustine | May 5, 2009; 03:25 PM ET | Comments (0)

Cool Heads, Creative Minds

We know these are tough times for America and for workers and companies. But this is where consultation, participation, and team work pays off.

By Andy Stern | May 5, 2009; 03:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dangerous Brinksmanship

As with the Cuban Missile Crisis, so it is with The Boston Globe drama: If the parties indulge in ego-driven brinksmanship, where one side wants victory without concessions, chances are good they'll both fail.

By Ed Ruggero | May 5, 2009; 11:57 AM ET | Comments (0)

"What Can We Create?"

Both sides need to re-position themselves from an attitude of "What I must have" to "Can we create a future for the company and its employees?"

By John H. Cochran, MD | May 5, 2009; 10:26 AM ET | Comments (0)

Shared Sacrifice

The management could possibly scare the union into accepting its terms by threatening to close the paper. The result would be an angry and resentful staff.

By Michael Maccoby | May 5, 2009; 10:05 AM ET | Comments (0)

Public Interest At Stake

Both sides need to be reminded of the significance of the negotiations. The public interest is at stake; an informed citizenry is the foundation of our democracy.

By Pablo Eisenberg | May 4, 2009; 04:09 PM ET | Comments (0)

Painting Yourself Into a Corner

Although brinksmanship and ultimatums is sometimes successful -- as the record of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles shows -- patience, persistence and finding new options are better ways to proceed.

By Mickey Edwards | May 4, 2009; 02:31 PM ET | Comments (0)

Radical Truth-Telling

My advice would be to forget about brinkmanship and other forms of game playing. Why not try acting like adults, telling the truth, making needed compromises and doing whatever can be done to keep the ship afloat?

By Marshall Goldsmith | May 4, 2009; 02:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Creativity, Not Threats

Make-or-break negotiations are not the sort that foster the collaboration or partnerships needed to deal with the serious underlying issues that the newspaper industry is currently facing.

By Deborah Kolb | May 4, 2009; 02:18 PM ET | Comments (0)

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; 02:16 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; 02:57 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; 02:56 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; 01:28 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; 09:26 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; 03:22 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; 02:44 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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