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5 Ways to Turn a Crisis Into an Opportunity

CoAdvantage- Every crisis contains the seed of opportunity. As Winston Churchill said, “Never waste a good crisis.”

Indeed, in normal circumstances, leaders and organizations frequently resist even smart or necessary change. Thus, a crisis situation can potentially generate the necessary urgency and motivation to make positive changes. As The Wall Street Journal writes, “A crisis provides the leader with the platform to get things done that were required anyway and offers the sense of urgency to accelerate their implementation.”

But how can businesses turn crises into opportunities?

1: Think big.
Aim high, not low, with corrective action. This is partly to anticipate the worst and “get out in front of it.” But it’s also partly to maximize the outcomes. Governing.com points out that crises often generate a number of factors that can facilitate opportunity:

·   Resources can become available or be re-allocated
·   Priorities are sharpened and more urgent
·   Rigid rules and procedures can become elastic
·   Leaders are more willing to act

2: Solve the underlying problem.
Ideally, the crisis will offer an opportunity to solve deeper issues and bridge pre-existing gaps that gave rise to the crisis in the first place. The United Nations is a good example of this; it was formed after World War II to help foster international peace. The 2010 Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico offers another example. Prior to that spill, no technology existed to contain uncontrolled release of crude oil; in dealing with the crisis, the “Capping Stack” was developed.

3: Put protections in place.
Human beings are, for better or worse, reactive creatures. Even disasters we should have seen coming often take us by surprise. But our reactivity can be put to good use into making changes that can prevent the disaster from happening again, or at least strengthen our ability to navigate the problem more easily in the future.

4: Learn from mistakes.
Perhaps the simplest of all opportunities born out of a crisis: grow as individuals and organizations as a result of dealing with the disaster.

5: Create a crisis preparedness plan in advance.
Crisis preparedness must be a priority before anything happens. Denial, whether imagining your business is immune or ignoring warning signs, is deadly. With a plan in place, organizations can not only better navigate the crisis situation, but they can also make the most of any opportunities it offers.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about CoAdvantage’s ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.

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