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Crisis?? BE WARY!

Posted Nov 07 2008 11:34am

There is great danger when you see or hear the word “crisis.” Beware. Be wary. Watch out.

The word crisis implies that something is going to crash, fail, stop working, die – something terrible and irreversible is about to happen, not next century or next year but now. THAT is a crisis.

The fact that looming disaster – the so-called crisis – is imminent means we must do something to fix it right NOW.

Crisis has lost its real meaning through over-use. Even the current economic “crisis” is really a downturn and restoration of balance. We say “crisis” because we all are feeling the economic bite but will the USA fall as a result of this “crisis?” Of course not.

Games theorists and strategy experts call what we are doing ad hoc crisis management. Once you accept that the situation is a true crisis, you must accept any quick answer that is offered. This “answer” is probably something you would normally reject and certainly will not fix the problem.

Ad hoc crisis management – accepting the quick solution for today’s crisis – invariably produces tomorrow’s – new and even worse – problem, which will again be called a crisis.

Today’s problem
was a solution to Yesterday’s problem.
Economic meltdown…………………….Cannot buy houses.
Iraq & Afghanistan…………………Fanatical terrorism
Fanatical terrorism…………………………..Cold war
Excessive medical costs………………Cannot afford health care

What about our healthcare crisis? Healthcare certainly is a mess, we all feel the pain, and things are getting worse, but is it a crisis? Not yet, but at the rate of decline and without fundamental change, it could become a crisis, where there will be no doctors, nurses, drugs or hospitals; no medical insurance or for that matter malpractice insurance; and where health care is simply not available. THAT would be a crisis.

Most so-called crises do not warrant solutions that will:
a) Temporarily make things look or feel better, but
b) Not dissolve* the problem, and worst of all,
c) Create a bigger problem in the future than we have now.

*(Next Post, we need to review Russ Ackoff’s “Four Solves.” This is important for any and every decision we make, whether to act and what action we take. )

When you see or hear the word “crisis,” beware; be wary; watch out.

System MD

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