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15th September 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis

The Scottish Social Services Council has published a new resource on "Leading in a Crisis". The resource pulls together information from a wide range of sources, helps to build a picture of what works and what does not in a time of crises.

The positive aspects of leading in a crisis are commonly noted as being:

  • Making sense of what has happened/is happening
  • Credible, appropriate, and consistent communication
  • What the organisation is going to do about it (the crisis)
  • Be present
  • Honesty
  • Give hope
  • Have empathy
  • Plan for the future

Of these, honesty and consistency in communication appear most often in the literature/sources.  In addition to this, being visible/present rates highly.

These are in addition to the Six Leadership capabilities promoted in Scotland’s social services, the day to day skills if you wish:

  • Vision
  • Motivating and inspiring
  • Collaborating and influencing
  • Empowering
  • Self-leadership
  • Creativity and innovation

The McKinsey Company diagram on the development and role of Network Teams is of interest, in that it illustrates an organisational approach to leadership in a crisis. This approach is useful in that it gives a degree of comfort that leaders have the support of the executive team within the organisation. It can also, at a local level, act as an aide-memoire and/or risk assessment in a time of crisis.

Overall, the resource is easy to read and navigate, with useful links to more detailed information.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Susan Donnelly

Scottish Mental Health

Susan began her nursing career in 1980, as a student nurse, then worked in Mental Health as a Staff Nurse, Ward Sister/Charge Nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist. She moved to Regulation and Inspection in 1997, as a Senior Nurse with the former Greater Glasgow Health Board and moved to the Care Inspectorate (formerly known as the Care Commission) in 2002 initially as an Inspector then as the Professional Adviser for Mental Health and latterly held the post of Improvement Adviser.

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