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To weather a crisis, build a network of teams

Apr 18, 2020
This dynamic and collaborative team structure can tackle an organization’s most pressing problems quickly. Here are four steps to make it happen.

By Andrea Alexander , Aaron De SmetSarah Kleinman, and Marino Mugayar-Baldocchi

Imagine you are a tenured CEO of a company. You have led your organization through many adverse events.  You have followed a playbook, and moved to a “command and control” style to address the cascading effects of various perils. But now you’re dealing with a crisis unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. There is no playbook from which to pull past experiences.

In this rapidly changing environment, your people need to respond with urgency, without senior executives and traditional governance slowing things down. Waiting to decide, or even waiting for approval, is the worst thing they can do. Yet some level of coordination across teams and activities is crucial for your organization’s response to be effective. How do you do this? How do you accomplish the seemingly impossible?

The answer: create a robust network of teams that is empowered to operate outside of the current hierarchy and bureaucratic structures of the organization.

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