Staying calm is good. Carrying on in the middle of a crisis - not so much.
When it began to gain prominence in North America, I, like everyone else though “Keep Calm and Carry On” was cool. I didn’t regard it as a mind-blowing advice, but it had a retro look and some kitsch to it.
Now… three years on, I’m telling clients to think twice before adopting "Keep Calm" when designing change and improvement slogans. At best it's overused... at worst it's harmful and counter productive. Leave it out of your HR and Change Management campaigns – and, do not promote it as a virtuous leadership behaviour.
An Opiate for the Masses
“Keep Calm and Blankity Blank” statements are being overused by shortsighted leaders trying to forward their own agendas, to the point of nausea. The meme is applied like a salve to “sooth” the masses while asking them to do something. The medium is the message, and this medium implies it should be done without question – unfairly making it an issue of loyalty and stoicism.
Do you have employees that carry stress home? Their lives literally depend on the organizational culture and leadership style you choose to adopt. You can make a huge difference to the happiness and balance in your peoples' lives.
Do you have employees that thrive at home and at work? Their lives literally depend on healthy organizational behaviour and company culture on the job.
Want more from your career and life?
It was great to hear Dr. Mohan S. Sodhi speak at the Alliance Pipeline Seminar "Supply Chain 3.0 and the Search for Performance" on Friday.
Fantastic to meet and have conversations with Professor Sodhi, my friend (and Co-Author) Jaydeep Balakrishnan, Shawn Baker, Fernando Torres and many more.
Dr. Sodhi (whose work you'll find in the Sloan management review and the Harvard Business Review) nailed home the point that organizations can incur an incredible loss if they fail to deal with supply chain challenges at the appropriate 'level' (operational, supply chain, social.) The analogs presented demonstrated the effect of failing to have an appropriate response when a threat materializes.
I left with the feeling that this risk will become increasingly relevant if organizations go insular on increasingly public social issues, or go to social media to justify poor internal decisions or quality issues.
We've seen disastrous of this mismatch when Airlines, Automobile Manufacturers, Technology and Government deal with mistakes that harm stakeholders.
I found the learnings extended far beyond supply chain; being equally valuable for governance and regulatory, and safety teams to consider.
A big thanks to Alliance and the Haskayne School of Business CASL for putting on this excellent series.
I hope this gives more perspective on what Calgary is experiencing.
I hope you'll consider joining our community and engaging in more leadership conversations that matter.
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