Crisis Management vs Crisis Avoidance

4 April 2017

We live in an ever-changing world. So much of what is happening around us is more fluid than ever. This makes it increasingly more difficult to respond, and more importantly, be pro-active. Forecasting based on historic data is becoming less and less reliable – circumstances are constantly changing based on technology, trends, fashion, media influence…the same challenge today could be driven by something completely different than a year ago, and the same factors a year ago create very different challenges today.

One thing that hasn’t changed very much in our culture is how we deal with problems. It’s safe to say that the best way to handle the challenges that life throws at us is to take all the necessary steps and precautions to ensure problems don’t arise, but if they do at times, do the best we can to handle them. However, when what causes issues is ever changing, it can be really difficult to know what steps to take to avoid problems. The danger here is that unforeseen challenges arise and we end up having to be great at crisis management, but ensure that we reflect heavily on how that crisis came about in order to put in preventative measures for the future.

So what happens when we’re stuck in a culture of crisis management, constantly fire-fighting and solving problems with no time to reflect or implement those cautionary steps for the future? It can feel like a vicious circle – a revolving door that just won’t stop spinning. What if we could change to a culture of crisis avoidance? What would be the benefit?

IntraQuest are all too familiar with this concept. As a learning and well-being services company, it’s safe to say that in most cases the phone only rings when there’s a crisis. We generally become engaged in issues when they’ve become so challenging that specialist support is needed. This is when we intervene with different capability for professionals, new approaches, therapeutic interventions and community support. We’ve built our business on responding to people in crisis, but the golden egg for us would be to AVOID crisis if possible. Crisis is a lot more difficult to manage, takes up much more time, resources and energy, and in many cases it’s the symptom of that crisis that ends up being managed, because of safeguarding, risks to individuals or the public – so much time is spent managing the crisis that there is no time to reflect upon the root cause.

We can’t help but wonder…if our learning and well-being services were employed BEFORE crisis hit, would crisis hit at all? Surely prevention is better than cure, especially when that cure only treats the symptom, rather than the cause? And we can’t get away from the fact that crisis is damaging – yes, the damage in a lot of cases can be fixed, but if the damage could be AVOIDED, isn’t that a better state of affairs?

Over the last four years, IntraQuest have been working with Early Help and Prevention teams all over Greater Manchester, and the results have been astounding. Not only have these teams built much better relationships with residents, they have seen a demonstrable increase in self-awareness and decrease in problematic behaviours. Essentially, they have prevented problematic behaviour from escalating, and in many cases, stopped it altogether – crisis avoided! All of this is down to our unique approach – empathically seeking to understand the cause and positive function of problematic behaviour, in order to propose the right long-term solutions for individuals.

Evidence (and several national awards) has told us that this approach is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re part of an Early Intervention or Prevention team, or any response team for that matter, you ae bound to benefit from our learning solutions. We provide practical tools and techniques for building trusted, credible relationships with clients, that will help you understand the honest, positive function that their problematic behaviours serve for them. Only then can you explore solutions that will work for both your service AND your client. And that’s crisis avoidance!

Want to know more? Get in touch with us!