Why is it so difficult for organizations to manage crises? Governments at all levels mismanaged Katrina and we are still paying for it. Major League Baseball owners have ignored the steroid problem for years and it is obviously not going to go away. And Sanofi-Aventis, the makers of Ambien, have a brewing problem, Rep Man tells us today.
These are just the ones I could come up with on short notice.
The often used but great quote from George Santayana says it best, "Those that cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Yet time and again we see companies of all sizes and types ignore what is happening to others around them. The dynamic of "it won't happen to us" is a powerful intoxicant. Bad things only happen to others. Guess what?
The fact is that bad things will happen to everyone. Crises require strong leaders who are not afraid to take charge. Why is it that some corporate leaders who are viewed as visionaries in all other aspects of business wilt when it comes to crises? The truth is that crises actually create opportunities for leaders and for companies to show what they are truly made of.
So we will see what this year's hurricane season brings us. And we can watch to see how the MLB owners and Sanofi-Aventis handle their smoldering situations. The biggest question is will the rest of us learn anything?