Crisis Leadership 4 – Information flow

Information is necessary anytime anywhere, but they become paramount in times of crisis.  Both our personal nervous system as well as the organizational information flow need proper “raw material” to be further processed into decisions and actions.  In times of crises we need decisions whose accuracy and applicability depend essentially on the quality and timeliness of information.

There are bilateral and multilateral information flows which are, under normal circumstances, clarified and enforced by hierarchy.  Normally.  However, in times of crises, all regulated or incidental synapses become over-excited, over-saturated and chaotic.

Information chunks fly erratically inside and outside of the entity and one of the solutions are the presence of a dispatcher who can receive, sort, prioritize and send the information needed for action.

Much calm, authority and competence are needed to impose the strictness and accuracy usually present.  Imagine the news room of a television station before going live with a sensation story, the famous “breaking news”.  You may visualize people shouting, bumping and contradicting each other, not listening any more.  All in favor of prime time.  It is no wonder that the story goes on air being partial, unclear and sometimes lacking credibility – even if we got used to being bombarded with shards of explosive news.

I assume we would not have the same permissive reaction if our home was on fire and the firemen acted like the journalists.  In this case we, the direct subjects of the event, would pray for calm, coordination and decisive action to overcome the crisis.  Only then we do appreciate at par value the concrete, precise and complete information – the only ones enabling concrete, precise and complete actions.