crisis management

Crisis management through the eyes of a child

January 15, 2013

crisis management

Crisis management learned at an early age

When I was seven years old, the bomb squad, fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances arrived at the house our family had just moved into a few weeks prior, and as I child I was very excited. I can recall few more exciting moments in my childhood than this incident, and several other nights like it during my dad’s first political campaign.

I learned about emergency services, wiretapping and phone tracing, the passions stirred by politics, and I got to spend the night with friends.  There was almost nothing about the experience that was not exciting or interesting, although I’m certain my parents felt differently.

From the eyes of children, many crises that seem overwhelming otherwise can be quite instructive – particularly to businesses.  I recall another article on AGBeat by Monica Moffitt that discussed the idea from a cultural perspective.

While, certainly, crisis in the form of violence – particularly that which harms children – can only leave us perplexed and anguished. And when children are exposed to trauma, they need care to help them through that crisis.

Crisis management for your business

But most of the crises businesses face are those of a less traumatic nature and most can be prevented or diminished with a little bit planning.  Those crises can also lead to a stronger business if handled correctly.

The next time your business goes through a challenge, take a moment to look at the situation with the inquisitive eyes it is easy for us to grow out of, and imagine the flip side of the scenario that a seven year old would love. Better yet, take a little time to play.  Play out the scenarios that could most likely harm your business and envision the simplest solutions you can for those potential challenges.

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This week’s headlines about Lance Armstrong could have easily been avoided with the simple wisdom of a child: Don’t do illegal drugs, and don’t lie. Many potential business crises really are about that simple to avoid.

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David Holmes, owner of Intrepid Solutions, has over 20 years experience planning for, avoiding, and solving crises in the public policy, political, and private sectors. David is also a professional mediator and has worked in the Texas music scene.


  1. Great points. The inquisitive eyes of a child and the adult discipline to behave well. Thanks.

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