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Rogue Waves and CAT 5 Hurricanes

Rogue Waves and CAT 5 Hurricanes

By: Ross Paterson

No matter how prepared you are (see previous Blog Be Prepared), you will inevitably experience a crisis as a business owner. Your crew will be waiting for the Captain to respond. Compartmentalize your responses around 2 key questions.

1. What is the immediate IMPACT?

2. What are the long-term IMPLICATIONS?

Some crises are like a rogue wave. One time hits, limited IMPACT and little to no long term IMPLICATIONS on your business structure or strategy. For example, an employee steals a large sum of money and disappears. Or a key leader finds a new opportunity and leaves your business. Generally there will be a mess to clean up, but you will be able to get back to business quickly.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some crises are like CAT 5 Hurricanes, like the Great Recession of 2009. Indicators showed the potential size of the problem in late 2008. The sea boiled and the storm rolled ashore. The immediate impact was devastating, and the future implications were sizable and long lasting.

“Big Ideas” to keep in mind as you process these two questions

  • Tell yourself the TRUTH, be brutally honest, and realistic
  • Try not to be a fatalist; smart, prepared people overcome amazing obstacles
  • Seek wisdom from many counselors and trusted advisors