April 9, 2020

By Dan Hammond, Chief Disruption Officer, LIW

It was probably Winston Churchill who said ‘Never waste a good crisis’. We are all becoming aware that a post-pandemic world could be different – and better.

However, it’s not guaranteed.

As humans, we are very attached to how things were. Our basal ganglia efficiently encourages us to stick to habits. Behavioural science shows that we need some big, immediate and guaranteed rewards if we are to change.

What does this mean for leadership?

An HBR paper from March 2020 tells us that leaders fall into a number of traps in times of crisis: taking a narrow view; being seduced by managing; over-centralising; and ignoring the human factor.

For sure, it is time to do the opposite of those things but also, when you can, widen the lens. Start to look beyond the ‘now’ to the ‘what could be’.

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