We are used to considering the crisis as an adverse phenomenon, and our negative beliefs and actions stem from this. In this article, Mykola Siutkin, CEO and Founder of S&P Agency Investment Risk Management, attorney, award winner Best Lawyers 2020-2021 in nominations Mergers and Acquisitions and Case Law provided with not only a deeper understanding of the crisis but also the mechanism of successfully dealing with it.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” — Albert Einstein
A crisis is commonly associated with chaos, pain, disappointment, and losses. Business is afraid of crises since during this turbulence period it is possible to actually “fly away” in the wrong direction or even “fly off the fixed orbit”.
This deeply psychological attachment to comfort, regularity, and controllability of processes can play a cruel joke with us. During difficult changes in the external environment — crises — we stubbornly and actively resist such changes and want to return things to their usual order by all means. Although, pre-crisis situations, when everything was in its place, often don’t suit us either. However, in times of crisis, a familiar “harbor” attracts us with its predictability, relative peace, and rationalism. This is our first and fundamental mistake — not accepting the situation as it is, the desire to make it controllable, rational, and subordinate. Not accepting the current situation, no matter how difficult it may be, we spend an enormous amount of energy on resistance instead of using it for taking action to get out of the crisis.
The first rule for our clients, which we start to work with, is to accept the situation/crisis, and only then they can move on. Acceptance doesn’t mean complete acquiescence and passivity. It is simply allowing the situation to be, without protest and negative reaction.
The second important point is to see what positive outcomes the crisis can provide to you or the company, what is its strength. Believe me, you will be surprised when you give an honest answer to this question. You will immediately both see and access another positive side of the crisis. This is when miracles happen. Clients start noticing all the weaknesses of their companies, partners, employees, and even things that have led the company to that crisis. In addition, people finally understand that the crisis is natural and necessary for reaching a higher and sometimes honest level, especially from the perspective of partnerships. Acceptance often comes with responsibility, which is essential to move on.
I consider responsibility an honest view of things, business processes, clients, and partners. This is everything you did not want to admit to yourself for a long time, although you were aware of it deep inside your consciousness all this time. Only after passing all these stages, you begin to look at the crisis in a different way. You are no longer struggling with it, you do not see it as chaos or destruction. You take a closer look at it and try to search for pluses — positive points — behind all this… For better or worse, you will see these pluses — at first as something vague, then as more clear things, and then you’ll even be able to feel it. At this stage, you move from the “danger” category to the “new opportunities” category. This is fully consistent with the teaching of Tao (Way), according to which a crisis as an integral process that includes the interaction of two opposites – “risks, dangers” and “opportunities, chances”. These opposites contain the beginnings of each other and pass into each other over time. Things that we perceive as a danger today may become an opportunity for us tomorrow. And vice versa.
Only when a person engage in a crisis or begins to see opportunities in it, these new chances actually emerge. If one remains fears, rejects, and confronts the situation, it won’t dissolve but will only get worse. After all, there was no transition from a minus to a plus. On the one hand, a company that is afraid of losing customers, market share, and partners will definitely not get out of the crisis. It will simply conclude that it is losing everything. On the other hand, a company that has accepted the fact of the crisis and inevitable changes (as experience shows, 90% of changes are for the better) or even the fact of the loss of business, will successfully overcome the crisis. No matter how strange it may sound, the acceptance of the fact of loss will lead to the fact that there won’t be critical losses. Still, what you are afraid of will definitely happen.
Oddly enough, difficult life situations make us stronger and better, forcing us to change things we are not want to change, which is simply vital for us. Having passed through a painful crisis, we look back and understand that this stage was simply necessary. We would not have gone further towards our dream without these changes. So, you should not be afraid of crises. You should learn to “swim” in them, use them for your ambitious business purposes. The crisis is a portal — you either skyrocket or fall down. It’s up to you to decide where you want to go.
Besides, it is a proven fact that outdated and ineffective business processes, products, and employees are taken away during crises. This is a total purge for business. It is the right time to change everything that has been hindering success for a long time. It’s time to be honest with yourself. Love the crisis as an opportunity to become better.
S&P Agency has developed a specialized training program for top managers “Crisis or how to turn a minus into a plus”. During this program, we help CEOs to see the crisis flows and learn not only to manage them use them for quickly getting to a new level.
Please read: Crisis: a guideline for publicly exposed companies
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