A crisis is a terrible thing to waste

crisis2One of my favorite quotes of all time if from Sanford economist Paul Romer who said:

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

In my career, this has been one of the most important things to seize upon and leverage.

In IT this is a gift from the gods.  Think about Y2K. Think about how many new systems were upgraded or implemented in the run up to the Y2K scare? Think about the latest security breach your company experienced. Were you able to allocate funds to upgrade your security? What about an acquisition or a bankruptcy of a strategic vendor? Were you able to get CAPEX funds that were previously unavailable due to the risk associated with the situation?

The bottom line is you need to be able to leverage the “crisis” to do the right thing for your company in the moment. Sometimes, the crisis are of our own making and sometimes they are outside of our control, but either way we need to be prepared to respond to the crisis to make the best of a bad situation.

It may be an acquisition that causes you to have to respond to an immediate need for a technology solution that would have otherwise difficult to justify or was a long-term solution. Or, it may be a bad economic situation that causes you to restructure or reorganize the department  to address the situation.  Either way, the “crisis” allows you to do things that would otherwise would be inappropriate or extremely difficult to accomplish and in the heat of the crisis they are acceptable outcomes.

Are you ready to leverage the next crisis that comes your way?

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About Michael Keithley
Digital Transformation CIO and Public Speaker. Previously, CIO at Creative Artists Agency

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