Things you can do to be adaptive and respond quickly to your business problems

  1. Understand the situation
  2. Set priorities
  3. Isolate your options
  4. Create a plan
  5. Get prepared and attack
  6. Manage the information war

Respond to business problems by leading your business

Sooner or later, you will come across a severe business problem encounter some crisis or emergency. Some problems are more serious — others less so and others extremely dangerous. The smallest of issues can disrupt business and create stress and anxiety and stress. Usually, when you have already done proactive thinking and look ahead, you will be better prepared for any problem.

1. Control your mind

The first thing you must do when faced with a problem is to create a clear mind and my composed. To take control of the situation, you need to pause and relax and make sure you can see the situation through the fog of war. Even when the walls are collapse around you, try and think rationally. It goes against all your natural instincts which are telling you to fight or flight. If you do neither you freeze. Seek objective guidance from someone not involved in the problem to give you a different perspective.

2. Understand the situation

Once your mind is in the right place, the next thing is to create a brief and concise description of the problem you are facing. Describe the problem, without going too deeply into the why’s or, critically, who is to blame for the problem.

  • What is affected
  • Where is the problem happening
  • When did you first know about the problem
  • Why is it a problem?

3. Set priorities

You are likely to be facing more than one problem or crisis, so setting the priorities into requires and efficiency and focus. Answering these questions is essential to set your priorities:

  • Then, what’s time-sensitive?
  • What objective information can we gather?
  • How serious is the problem?
  • How urgent is the problem?
  • Also, how fast are things moving?
  • And is the problem going to get worse?
  • Will this problem trigger other problems?
  • Finally, could this problem/crisis be an existential threat?

4. What are your options?

Once you understand the priorities of the, you are in a position to formulate your options, the choices you can make with the resources you had to hand and the outcomes you need to resolve the crisis and/or problem. Defining your desired results will narrow the options down, allowing you to focus more on the strategic detail required and the rights and wrongs of each choice to resolve things.

5. Create the plan

In a crisis, there is no time to make perfect plans. This is usually down to not having sufficient Intelligence to make an ideal decision,. The more Intelligence you have, the better the plan. Depending on the situation you find yourself, you may need to find a temporary quick fix — a fix to buy you more time to find a more sustainable solution. Allocate and deploy resources, produce the action plan, define who is responsible for each role and, and prioritise the required actions.

6. Get ready and then attack

Once you have the plan ready, it is now time to take action and build a consistent pace in attacking the problem or crisis. Ensure you have a few indicators within the plan to ensure you know if the plan is working or failing.

  • “Actions on enemy fire we will return fire and suppress the enemy to enable us to carry on with our mission.”

7. Manage the information war

Message management is an essential aspect of problem-solving, especially when your problem is crisis management. Without messages, people will be fearful and assume the worst.

  • What’s reported. And who to and by whom
  • Understand how much information to share
  • And how are you going to share the message
  • What are the needs of your audience


Expect the unexpected, understand that problems can range from utter carnage to something very minor. Managing these situations and the people involved is part of a leaders role. You don’t know when the next crisis is coming, but you will survive, and you will know what to do. So, take action using the suggested format discussed by controlling your mind, understanding the situation, setting priorities, isolating your options, creating a plan, getting prepared, attacking and managing the information war.



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