I want to share a story with you...
The summer I turned 14-years old, my dad decided he was going to designate the task of cleaning windows to me. I was to go around the entire house and clean every window from the inside of the house. He would clean them from the outside.
So, I began. Mind you, by age 14 I had pretty much everything figured out, especially when it came to cleaning our house because I already had a solid 5-years of experience at it. I imagined sparkling windows and my dad giving me huge praise for doing such a stupendous job. Instead, I got streaks, white spots, and lots of fuzz from my rag. The windows were getting clean, but lacking the desired results.
As I cleaned, window after window, my dad kept telling me to use newspaper instead of a rag. I rolled my eyes every time. "How in the heck would newspaper do the job better than a rag? He must be making it up. There goes dad again, trying to tell me how to do everything HIS way." I certainly did not need anyone telling me how to clean, of all things...
Have you ever witnessed a firefly show? I grew up in the Midwest. It's an understatement to say I am fascinated by fireflies. It is much more accurate to claim that I am obsessed.
Fireflies are cool for many reasons. I've studied their habits informally for many years; from behavior patterns to the energy-efficient light they give off. That light is now being studied formally at UC Berkeley to see if they can recreate it.
It is the firefly's incandescence that mesmerizes us. That subtle, consistent blinking light is the way this little bug communicates with other fireflies. If you've had the pleasure of witnessing them, it is a beautiful, subtle, dance of survival. They NEED to attract other fireflies to mate and proliferate. This communication is delivered with precision and then a whole community of fireflies will blink their light in unison, as if proclaiming..."I've got your back, I'm here for you, and you are not alone!" It's quite inspiring. I realized when I was forming my business almost 11 years ago, that fireflies shaped my philosophy on communication and marketing, hence the namesake Firefly Strategies.
3 Things You Must Do When Managing a Crisis
When we plan, whether it's for personal, small business, or non-profit development planning, the assumption is a successful outcome. We work hard to make sure the plan will lead us to profitability. But, many things cause delays or derail us from our end game. Most plans do not have a crisis component built into it, which is a mistake. ANYTHING could go wrong. I've seen some of the best-laid plans fail miserably because something went wrong.
When a crisis occurs, you might be able to manage it internally without news leaking to the public. However, more often than not, the public finds out. So, plan for the fail, for a crisis, and for news going public.
Here are 3 things you must do when managing this kind of crisis...
Not long ago, I was struggling to keep my head above water, trying to manage WAY too much. Unfortunately, this predicament isn't something that happens to me only. I know MANY businesses, organizations, and individuals that are currently under incredible stress, and exhausted due to juggling too many hats.
Sometimes it seems there just isn't a way out of the chaos. Hiring someone is not feasible. There's no time to recruit an intern. And volunteers, though great, just don't have the right skills.
So what CAN you do when you are on the verge of "drowning?" Create systems! With the right systems in place, you can eliminate quite a bit of reinventing the wheel. Also, systems provide a framework for hiring someone or recruiting an intern or volunteer. There is a clear expectation of what needs to be accomplished, and less time spent orienting because documented systems can serve as training material.
Here are the top 3 systems I recommend you put into place as soon as possible...