The role of the leader in time of crisis: the identikit of the ‘quick thinker’ according to Eugenio Sidoli

3 April 2020

BBS dealt with the emergency by bringing the entire online teaching in record time: in fact, the teaching sessions continue on the platform and there is no shortage of ad hoc meetings with relevant figures from the Industry: among the latest events, for the participants of the Global MBA, a Live-streaming leadership talk held by Eugenio Sidoli, President of Philip Morris Italia*, on crisis management.

“In this situation of self-isolation, staying in contact becomes an even more precious opportunity – the participant of the track in Food and Wine Federica Virno said to the BBS Community – and this live-streaming session allowed us to tackle an extremely current: crisis management. Eugenio Sidoli made us reflect on the close link between crisis management, change management and leadership skills, because the key characteristics of the leader are the ability to be a ‘quick thinker’ able to analyze data to frame and circumscribe the situation, to establish a direction and directing one’s decisions”.

There was no shortage of questions from the participants, linked in particular to the role of the leader in unprecedented circumstances such as the one we are experiencing, in which the level of uncertainty is extremely high: how to understand which direction to move?

“I was very impressed by Sidoli’s response – continues Federica – who, quoting John Kotter’s book ‘At the heart of change. How people change organizations’, identified 6 phases in the crisis management process. An initial phase linked the identification of the crisis, followed by the management of the sense of urgency, before moving on to a third more operational phase, which involves the involvement of experts and the election of a team leader. Subsequently, the development of a vision that first allows you to focus on the steps to be taken, and then the pawns to be moved by dividing the functions within your team. The next two steps are the construction of a database and the analysis of the KPIs to identify the positive trends and celebrate the results achieved which must be followed by effective communication, which reassures everyone on the progress we are making. The concepts introduced by Sidoli have helped us to adopt a new perspective to analyze the current situation while developing useful tools to be adopted during our future career”.

A lesson on how renewal can influence people’s behavior, so that they face the problems of their organizations in a new perspective, also and above all in circumstances of stress or emergency.

“There is still a long way to go to get out of this situation – concludes Federica – but moments of sharing like these make waiting more manageable”.

*(until March 2020).


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