by Martin Royal
I was discussing with a friend last week about how, in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, her 1,000+ strong global architecture company established a crisis management team.They established this team to explore how they would respond to the unfolding crisis. The team evolved organically as different stakeholders were brought in to understand the impact the crisis might have on different parts of the business. The team began holding, and continues to hold, daily huddles to monitor progress, projects, and deadlines and assess any changes. It was a rapid response to the unfolding crisis that allowed them to more effectively stay ahead of their business challenges.
It is safe to assume that, by now, most businesses have established a COVID-19 crisis management team. Whether this is a 2-person team or multi-stakeholder task force will depend upon your business and your specific needs. If you haven't established a COVID-19 crisis management team yet, consult the "The 10 Steps of Crisis Communications" on the Free Management Library for helpful insights.
How is your COVID-19 crisis management team doing?
An effective crisis management team is only as good as your team's ability to function together to successfully manage a crisis. This begs the question, how is your COVID-19 crisis management team doing?
A few years ago, Google conducted a large-scale study to identify the ingredients of a successful team. Named Project Aristotle, this project explored 150 Google teams spread out around the globe. Google looked at everything from engineering teams to sales teams. You can read about the details of the project by checking out Google's Re:work post.
They found that the best teams are:
In addition, they also found that the best teams possess specific attributes that distinguish them from low-performing teams. According to Google’s Re:work blog, five attributes stood out:
What does it mean for your COVID-19 crisis management team?
After a few weeks of operating during the crisis, take the time to assess how well your team is functioning together. This is an opportunity to review team dynamics, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team and adjust course, if needed. For each of the five attributes, consider how you and your team are performing on the following questions:
Structure & Clarity
The use of these questions is not limited to crisis management teams. Feel free to use these questions to spark helpful conversations and assess how your team is progressing and if any adjustments are needed.
At Propulo, our focus has always been on safety culture and operational excellence. Please visit our website (Propulo Consulting) for more business insights and leadership resources.