Crisis Leadership: Preparation, Management, and Recovery

Columbia Business School

How long?

  • 3 days
  • in person

What are the topics?

Columbia Business School

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Who should attend

The program is designed for executives with significant leadership responsibility of teams, departments, and units as well as professionals in areas such as communications, people, and strategy and that are called in action in times of crisis.

About the course

On any given day, the media presents us with well-publicized and scrutinized stories of organizational crises. But while some crises make headlines, others may be less public but no less threatening to an organization.

The reality is that every organization is vulnerable to crises. And when a crisis arises, the first thing people look for is a leader. Executives who may be exceptional leaders under normal operations find themselves facing the pressures of time to preserve shareholder confidence, mitigate brand damage, and ultimately protect the bottom line.

The Crisis Leadership: Navigating through Difficult Times program prepares leaders for this challenge, recognizing that crisis situations require different leadership than normal conditions and that leaders can’t wait until they’re in the midst of a disaster to seek help.

The three-day program teaches upper- and senior-level executives how to strategically manage complex situations where the stakes are high. Participants learn how to avoid making bad leadership decisions under pressure and how to leverage the situation to remind stakeholders, their teams, and themselves of their core values. Executives also identify how to learn from a crisis, walking away better equipped to lead through the inevitable challenges of tomorrow.

IMPACT

During times of crisis, the measure of a leader is tested. This program helps you prepare for these situations that are bound to arise in any executive’s career, helping you build an organization that is robust and responsive when the time comes.

Specifically, you will walk away knowing how to:

  • Strategically and successfully manage yourself and your organization through times of crisis
  • Avoid making the wrong leadership decisions under pressure
  • Communicate effectively about the crisis with internal and external stakeholders
  • Create an environment of psychological safety for your team(s)
  • Leverage your core values to guide you through a crisis
  • Learn from a crisis so you're better equipped to lead through the challenges of tomorrow

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

The program is structured around a leader’s responsibilities — leading yourself and leading others — with each day focusing on a different aspect of the framework.

Day 1: Managing external stakeholders during crises

Learn how to communicate with external stakeholders when a crisis arises, including what kind of information you should provide, the style and tone with which you provide it, and how to manage questions you can't answer. You’ll acquire concrete tools for identifying and prioritizing stakeholders in times of crisis.

Day 2: Leading teams during crises

Understand how to produce psychological safety for your team and allow team members to give their perspective honestly — a crucial component to effective decision making in times of crisis. You’ll practice how to get full input from team members in order to make sense of the complexity of a crisis.

Day 3: Leading yourself during crises

You’ll learn about a framework to keep your own foundation of core values intact so you don't get consumed by the reactions of others. Hands-on exercises teach you how to maintain perspective, allowing you to continue to act as a leader and not become engulfed in the chaos around you.

The program features guest speakers who will talk about crises they have managed within their organization or industry. Speaker sessions will be hands-on and interactive with open discussions around the guest speaker’s experiences.

Experts

Paul Ingram

Biography Paul Ingram is the Kravis Professor Business at the Columbia Business School, and Faculty Director of the Columbia Advanced Management Program, Columbia’s flagship residential program for senior executives from around the globe.  His PhD is from Cornell University, and he was on the fac...

Matthew Feely

Biography Matt joined the management faculty in May 20l3, providing leadership lectures to MBA and Executive MBA candidates, as well as Columbia Business School's Senior Executive Program participants. Fusing theoretical knowledge with practical experience gained from a three decade-long navy ca...

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Crisis Leadership: Preparation, Management, and Recovery at Columbia Business School

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