- Matthew M. Thomas
- Read Time: 5 mins
Not all emergencies are merely acute crises.
The COVID pandemic has moved from an acute crisis of shutdowns and daily briefings to a long-term, chronic crisis. For those of us who lead organizations, this changes the way we think about the crisis and act to respond to its effects. Of course, COVID isn’t the only chronic crisis out there; it is the one that is top of mind for many of us now.
- I worked in an organization for seven years that had a constant financial solvency problem. No one knew week-to-week what bills would get paid, or whether payroll would be on time. That is a long-term, slow-motion crisis.
- Another organization I worked with had lost over 50% of its revenue over 15 years and was in the process of reinventing itself to find new ways of doing business. This was a slow-motion, long-term crisis.
Long before COVID, organizations were dealing with these kinds of long-term crises. Now, we have added to those with immediate shutdowns followed by months of uncertainty in spring 2020. And COVID, as a crisis, is shifting form acute to chronic as we speak.
Having worked with a wide variety of organizations in long-term crisis over the years, here is a way of looking at long-term crisis that can frame how to move forward in this pandemic environment.
Acute Crisis Perspective