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Crisis management and The Art of Problem Solving

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The knowledge and skill for crisis management is imperative to all individuals, groups or agencies, particularly to the youth in a crises-ridden time and space like Nigeria. This paper attempts to describe the meaning and understanding of crisis management to a group of educated, smart and active young people in the pursuit of in leadership and professional competence. Models and theories associated with crisis management are employed to outline strategies for problem-solving in crisis management. The way forward calls for a clear and active role for youth in crisis management. It is recommended for youth, to actively engage in seeking for knowledge and skills, including clear thinking on what to do in times of crisis.

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Crisis management and The Art of Problem Solving

  1. 1. BY TANKO AHMED fwc Senior Fellow, NIPSS, Kuru 30 AUGUST 2014
  2. 2. PROLOGUE  The knowledge and skill for crisis management is imperative to all individuals, groups or agencies, particularly to the youth in a crises-ridden time and space like Nigeria.  This paper attempts to describe the meaning and understanding of crisis management to a group of educated, smart and active young people in the pursuit of in leadership and professional endeavours.  Models and theories associated with crisis management are employed to outline strategies for problem-solving in crisis management.  The way forward calls for a clear and active role for youth in crisis management.  It is recommended for youth, to actively engage in seeking for knowledge and skills, including clear thinking on what to do in times of crisis.
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION
  4. 4.  The knowledge and skill for crisis management is imperative to all individuals, groups or agencies, particularly to the youth in a crises-ridden time and space like Nigeria.  The study of crisis management originated from efforts in disaster management in the 1980s (Shrivastava, et al 1988; ASIS, 2009).  Crisis management is within the field of management involving skills and techniques required to identify, assess, understand, and cope with a serious situation, especially from the moment it first occurs to the point that recovery procedures start.
  5. 5. Crisis Crisis Situation Management Crisis Management Problem-Solving
  6. 6.  Denotes a dangerous or worrying situation or period that is very uncertain, difficult or painful, requiring immediate action to avoid total disaster or breakdown.  Generates a situation of instability and uncertainty; and when superimposed on leadership process, it could spell doom to any recipient entity.
  7. 7.  Characterized by four main elements of threat, surprise, short decision time and the need for change from existing status (Seeger, et al 1998; Venette, 2003).  Created either by man or nature hence the classification of crisis situation into natural and man-made.  Natural Crisis Situation - disasters such as flood, draught, volcanic eruption, earthquake,( tsunamis), etc. Human/Man-Made Crisis Situation, civil disturbances, terrorists attacks, extreme political instability etc.
  8. 8.  Act of handling or controlling something or situation successfully, including the skills or expertise involved in doing so.  Function that coordinates efforts of people to accomplish goals and objectives by employing available resources efficiently (without loss) and effectively (with result).  Consists of planning, organizing, directing and controlling which involves decision-making and leading an initiative to attain a goal.
  9. 9.  Measures to identify, acquire and plan the use of resources needed to anticipate, prevent, and/or resolve a crisis or the threat of a crisis (Akpa, 2005).  Process of dealing with crises or working through a crisis to solve or cope with problems as they arise.
  10. 10.  Another term applied to Crisis management.  Consists of standard method for finding solutions to problems.  A problem-solving cycle developed by Bransford and Stein (1993), requires one to recognize, define and develop a means or strategy to fix problems at hand.  Strategies for problem-solving are addressed in this paper downstream.
  11. 11. MODELS AND THEORIES RELATED TO CRISIS MANAGEMENT
  12. 12. Models and theories connected to crisis management are built on generally applicable 3-Phases founded by Gonzalez-Herrero and Pratt (1996) to include: Identification of the problem; Choice of appropriate action; and Implementation
  13. 13.  Crisis Arc model introduced by Alan Hilburg consists of crisis avoidance, crisis mitigation and crisis recovery;  Crisis Management Planning looks forward facing a situation by providing the best possible response to crisis situation www.12manage.com Contingency Planning prepares in advance as part of a crisis management plan www.12manage.com
  14. 14.  Continuity Planning helps minimize disruption effects by identifying critical functions and processes needed to keep things running (Osborne, 2007);  Structural-Functional Systems Theory (Infante, et al 1997) addresses the intricacies of information networks and levels of authority or command identifying flow of information; and  Diffusion of Innovation Theory (Rogers, 2003) describes how innovation is disseminated and communicated through given channels over a period of time occurring when new ideas are created for solution of problems at hand.
  15. 15.  These models and theories signify crises as critical situations requiring action by means of ideas and effective communication and adaptation for positive results.  Crisis management in turn necessitates efficient and effective planning, organizing, directing and controlling, for decision-making and leadership.  All these are based on good problem-solving knowledge and skills.
  16. 16. STRATEGIES FOR PROBLEM-SOLVING IN CRISIS MANAGEMENT
  17. 17. Solving problems use of models before applying to real life situation
  18. 18. Using solution that solves something similar
  19. 19. Developing many ideas or solutions into best options
  20. 20. Breaking large complex problems into smaller and simpler forms
  21. 21. Assuming possible solutions and trying to prove and apply them
  22. 22. Approaching solutions indirectly, but creatively
  23. 23. Choosing solutions in steps towards or closer to final stage
  24. 24. Mixing different ways and means into something new for solution
  25. 25. Interactions and results assessment towards solution of problems
  26. 26. Try to prove that a problem cannot be solved, needing other methods
  27. 27. Transforming one problem into another for ease of solution
  28. 28. Use of existing ideas for solution to similar problems
  29. 29. Identifying the cause of a problem to get to its solution
  30. 30. Testing possible solutions until the right one is found
  31. 31. CONCLUSION
  32. 32.  This paper sets out to describe the meanings and understanding of crisis management as problem-solving process.  Models and theories are employed to signify crises as critical situations requiring planned action by means of ideas and effective communication.
  33. 33.  Crisis management presents situations with clear roles, responsibilities and related process requiring response.  These responses include prevention, assessment, handling and termination of the crises at hand.  Crisis management therefore calls for preparedness for rapid and adequate response.
  34. 34.  It is recommended that individuals, groups, organizations, governments, etc., should always be prepared with plans on how to face emergencies, otherwise known as Crises.  Intelligent and active youth are advised to engage in seeking for knowledge and skills, including clear thinking on what to do and how to about doing things in times of crisis.
  35. 35. THANK YOU
  36. 36. Reference/Further Readings Akpa, P. A. (2005). Defence Headquarters Crisis Management Procedure. A Lecture Presented to the Participants of Course No. 13, National War College, Abuja. May 05. ASIS International (2009). Organizational Resilience: Security, Preparedness, and Continuity Management Systems-Requirements with Guidance for Use, American National Standard, ASIS SPC.1-2009 Gonzalez-Herrero, A. and C. B. Pratt (1996). An Integrated Symmetrical Model for Crisis- Communication Management, Journal of Public Relations research, 8(2), Pp. 79-105 Infante, D.; A. Rancer; D. Womack (1997). Building Communication Theory (3rd ed.). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press. Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press. Seeger, M. W.; T. L. Sellnow and Ulmer, R. R. (1998). Communication, Organization and Crisis. Communication Yearbook 21: 231–275. Shrivastava, P.; I. I. Mitroff; D. Miller and A. Miglani (1988). Understanding Industrial Crises. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 25, No. 4, Pp. 285-304. Venette, S. J. (2003). Risk communication in a High Reliability Organization: APHIS PPQ's Inclusion of Risk in Decision Making. Ann Arbor, M. I: UMI ProQuest Information and Learning.

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