This past Friday, Barb and I were guests of friends at their lakefront property. They have a dock perched just on the water and had placed some chairs there for the guests. I was sitting there when a speedboat towing a large inner tube with kids came rushing by. The effect of the boat was to be expected; the little dock rocked and swayed gently from the wake. There was a ripple effect from the speed of the boat.

Just like a boat leaves a wake behind it, a crisis or calamity also creates a ripple effect on a business. Here’s how:

Research shows that 25% of an employee’s valuable time is spent dealing with a crisis for days, weeks, and months after it occurs. Leadership teams must deal with employees, clients, investors, the media, and often attorneys. The ripple effect will even include loss of business and opportunity in the wake of the disaster.

You can’t prevent speed boats on a lake or crisis in business. However, you can brace and prepare yourself. I watched a woman with her young daughter on her paddle boat rowing for home when the boat made another pass off in the distance. I watched her slow down and brace herself and her daughter as the strong ripple came through. I also noticed they both were strapped on to the paddle boat for safety in the event they went in the water. This woman was demonstrating both preventative and contingent actions. Are you doing the same with your business?

Understanding and preparing for the ripple effect are two different things. Once one is concerned enough about the consequences of the size and scope of the ripple effect, then action is taken. The best time to do it is well before the boat comes speeding by. My guess is the woman and her daughter knew what to do when the boat came to manage the wake. Are you prepared to deal with the next ripple effect in your business? If you’d like to learn more about how to brace yourself and your company, call me. I have ideas to help you.

Your assignment is to uncover one way you can reduce the ripple effect both in your professional and personal life (because it happens there, too). By doing this, you’re taking great strides to avoid exacerbating the problem and keeping afloat!

Quote of the Day:

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

~ Helen Keller

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