The refugee crisis in summer 2015 can teach us a number of lessons in management. Here are five key learnings for managers.
1-Nip it in the Bud
This crisis caught politician on the wrong foot when they least expected it in the middle of the summer recess. The Syrian and Isis threats have been ongoing for over three years. Intelligence should have briefed politicians (let say they (politicians) have been briefed) about the risk and contingencies drawn up. What could have been done and was not done because politicians thought it would fizzle out or they had more on their hand - remember that the first part of 2015 was a Greek scene.
A good manager would manage all the situations at once or delegate attention for situations to be addressed by other specialists.
2-Train Your Teams Before the Test
It was evident that the refugee system was not up to scratch to handle a eight fold increase in input. The writing was on the wall. Doing nothing is a poor option. The result is an operational failure that rendered EU politicians involved look feeble, infrastructure crippled and a general logistical mess.
Management is all about preparation for foreseeable risks.
3-Manage Public Opinion in a Professional Way
Managing public opinion is part art and part science. It was evident that politicians which took the microphone did so under media pressure of suffering refugees blasted on TV screens and social media. The message was confusing and drowned in sensational images of suffering and operational inefficiencies.
It is important to get the media on your side all the way - nurture it well with accessibility.
4-If you Going to Risk it All - Make Your Homework Well
Most migrants are young men which fled for various reasons - some political but most economical. But were they prepared for the ordeal? The channels they used are physically risky, rickety and outright illegal. They sank in their savings and lives in the hands of rogue traders. This was not an overnight development but brewed up over a good three year period.
If you going to risk it all make sure the odds are in your favour.
5-Invest in your Intellectual Property
What did the refugees bring with them? Apart from what they where wearing pretty nothing. The best insurance for the future is the knowledge and intellectual money making skills that one can carry along wherever he or she goes.
The best investment is in your brains.
Managing Director and Chief Programmes Officer based in Malta and an avid entrepreneur who likes sharing his expertise in various fields with people from all walks of life.
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