About the Crisis Leadership Forum

To better understand the leadership dimensions of crisis situations, the Center for Creative Leadership convened a forum with formal and emergent leaders who played a role in Hurricane Katrina. We overlaid this conversation between crisis leaders with the perspectives of discussants with expertise in disaster, terrorism, public health, and leadership. This blog site is intended to continue this conversation.

To read the report on the Crisis Leadership Forum, please click here.

To read CCL's Leading Effectively newsletter on the Forum, please click here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crisis Leadership Podcasts from CCL on iTunes

Four podcasts based on learning from the Crisis Leadership Forum are now available on iTunes:

These are part of a Center for Creative Leadership series on iTunes that includes dozens of downloads on topics such as ethics, strategic leadership, and conflict management.

iTunes also features some 150 documentaries, podcasts, audiobooks, radio shows, and songs related to Hurricane Katrina.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jindal’s Emergency Response

As previously discussed, leaders’ communication during crises may make a significant difference in how they enable or hinder emergency response. According to a Sept. 7 article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal responded effectively to the threat of Hurricane Gustav by focusing on continually measuring preparation progress while reducing barriers to response efforts. He did this, at least in part, through communication with the public and other constituents.

The true test of emergency readiness in Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast, however, may come in the weeks and months ahead. The official Atlantic hurricane season lasts until Nov. 30, leaving the potential for future evacuations and many other demands upon leaders. Furthermore, what impact does the fact that Gustav was less severe than anticipated have on future evacuation efforts and responses?

One possibility may be that people will be less likely to act with as much of a sense of urgency during future crises. Many heeded leaders’ warnings regarding Gustav, but will that followership continue? Interestingly, the Times-Picayune reported today that Gov. Jindal does not foresee an evacuation order regarding incoming Hurricane Ike.

This highlights an important dilemma for leaders considering to order evacuations and carry out other disaster preparations. Leaders want to prepare their communities, but they also need to maintain their followers’ trust that they will only sound the alarm when it is really needed. Only then will people follow and respond when disaster strikes. This, too, emphasizes the delicate yet vital nature of communication in crisis leadership.