Culture Through Crisis
Aspire Learning Space
Nov 18, 2020

“There’s always an opportunity with crisis. Just as it forces an individual to look inside himself, it forces a company to reexamine its policies and practices.”  – Judy Smith

The pandemic is reaching a new peak in wave 2. Peaceful protestors are being murdered in Nigeria. Unrest in the United States as allegations of election fraud arise. Terrorism is surging in Europe. Here in Egypt, rumors spreading around, that schools and universities will close again, keep swirling and increasing.
Things aren’t exactly smooth sailing.

There isn’t a lot to enjoy during crises. There’s always lots of stress and anxiety surrounding the outcomes of what we’re going through. And when we’re in the thick on it, it’s not easy to think, “There’s a positive side to this” But that’s exactly what we have to do.

Going through a crisis, whether as an individual or as a company, tells you everything you need to know about that entity. That test sets them apart from others, it shows the weakness and strengths of that entity and is the ultimate litmus test to determine their true mettle.

That’s why it’s crucial to look at crises as opportunities, setting aside emotions and stress, the objectivity of what this crisis can do to improve my company, should be the number one thing on my mind.

That’s not easy though, and it demands a certain kind of mentality that can quickly adapt and shift focus to be able to deal with these issues at hand rapidly and swiftly without hesitation. To be prepared, and to take action quickly, the right action hopefully, needs a mindset shaped by a culture that was ready for it all this time.

A corporate culture that is strong, is one that’s ready before the crisis happens, and doesn’t merely exist to react to it.

This culture needs to depend on certain values, a foundation that allows for this culture to spread and be the dominant atmosphere in the company.

If you value your employees’ wellbeing and not just their performance, you will see that pay dividends when you’re in the trenches with them. If you’ve not put yourself on the line for them before, why would you expect them to do the same for you.

If you don’t encourage personal development and leadership amongst your workers, how do you expect them to step up when the times demand it most?

If you don’t involve them in your decision-making processes during normal times, why would they be made to do so in a pressuring status where every mistake counts for a lot more?

If you want to be ready for a crisis, you prepare for it beforehand. And without a culture in your company or organization or team, that sets you up for whatever may come, you won’t survive the wave.

Your values must be solid. Your vision and mission, clear and direct, should be inspiring and motivating to your employees, otherwise, why would they fight for them when it matters most?

Invest in your people, give them what they need, provide an atmosphere of growth, instill a culture that befits them and includes them, and they will reward you tenfold.

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