I heard the following statement recently in a conversation about disaster planning and recovery:
Failure in disaster planning almost always results from a lack of imagination.
I found that statement to be particularly thought provoking. Too often we assume that top-down, technocratic / centralized-planning style leadership is the only thing that can “save us” when tragedy or a crisis hits. Actually, more often what we need are creative, imaginative leaders who have excellent interpersonal and networking skills as well as a good imagination. Don’t get me wrong, we also DO need thorough planning to the extent that it is possible. When an unexpected crisis hits, however, planning alone will not suffice.
Good leadership matters, and so does a creative imagination. The truth of those statements can become glaringly apparent in a crisis when those in formal positions of leadership are “skill challenged” in the interpersonal and creativity “departments.”
My thinking along these lines has been highly influenced by Virginia Postrel’s book “The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise and Progress.” Check out Virginia’s blog at www.dynamist.com/weblog.
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