Every time I hear this fable of the hare that runs at full speed and the tortoise that is deliberate and paces himself, crossing the finishing line ahead of the hare, I am reminded of crisis management.
How often do we revert to crisis management and operate haphazardly
to produce the results simply because we do not take the time out to plan correctly, to set the goals that will avert the crisis to begin with, or after an initial crisis we get back into normal routine without closing out the possibility of exactly the same crisis recurring?
The thing is that once we have averted a crisis with creative and sometimes frenetic thinking and action, we now know that we are able to do so. The second and third time a similar crisis occurs we are better prepared and we begin to see the crisis as the norm
. Hence we end up passing on complicated solutions as if they are the only way to provide the end result.
With good short-, medium- and long-term goal setting we are better empowered to find more elegant solutions
and pass these on to new team members instead. So back to the tortoise, and another story I once heard, where Henry Ford instructed his “productivity consultant” to leave his finance director alone – apparently the latter was constantly sitting with his feet on the desk reading the newspaper. The “productivity consultant” had obviously taken issue with this. Ford’s words were something to the effect of: “Leave him alone, the last time he saved me a million dollars, he was sitting in exactly that position
I am not saying that all managers should sit and read the newspaper; what I am saying is that all managers should sit and think about the goals they need to tackle to ensure that crisis management gets averted
, whether they try this proactively or retroactively will depend on the circumstance and how deep their knowledge goes. Either way, goal setting is much more important than target chasing for sustainable growth and achievement.
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