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2020: A Pivotal Year?: Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of COVID-19 Disruption

2020: A Pivotal Year?: Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of COVID-19 Disruption

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2020: A Pivotal Year?: Navigating Strategic Change at a Time of COVID-19 Disruption

481 pages
6 hours
Mar 17, 2021


"2020: A Pivotal Year?" addresses the impacts of the COVID-19 disruption on global politics and provides assessments of the ripple effects felt throughout Europe and Asia. Authors based in Europe, the United States, and Australia have all contributed to this timely and unique assessment. This is a unique book looking back at the COVID-19 impact and the dynamics of change globally.

The first section of the book provides a unique look at the impact of COVID-19 on the Western societies, with Professor Kenneth Maxwell focus on the United Kingdom and Pierre Tran on France. We continue our discussion by looking at a wide range of geopolitical dynamics, and more specifically on Europe and Australia. We have brought together a number of our essays on historical developments of interest, spearheaded by the outstanding work of Professor Kenneth Maxwell. We conclude by taking a look forward into 2021.
Mar 17, 2021

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2020 - Robbin F. Laird


Copyright © Robbin F. Laird, 2021

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

ISBN: 978-1-09836-040-5 (softcover)

ISBN: 978-1-09836-041-2 (eBook)

This book is dedicated to my wife, Murielle Delaporte Laird, whose intelligence, kindness, and love have provided the entire raison d’être for my work, and my passion for getting the world right for the next generation. Notably, she founded the approach to the websites, and to the way ahead with the publication process in terms of magazines and books as well.



Navigating the COVID-19 World

When a Black Swan Comes

Successful Crisis Leadership

The War Against Coronavirus or Is It?

World at War

Aspiring to Talk Like Churchill

Does the War Metaphor Mislead?

Will the Coronavirus Crisis be Wasted?

Operation Resilience

France And Germany in the Coronavirus Crisis

French Defense Industry in the First Lockdown

The French Navy Deals with COVID-19

Naval Inquiry

Pilots in Quarantine

The Charles de Gaulle Aircraft Carrier in COVID-19

NATO and the Coronavirus Crisis

The European Union and the Coronavirus Crisis

Toilet Paper and Total War

The Impact of COVID-19 on Defense Organizations

Remote Working

To Cloud or not to Cloud?

Preparing for Change

Russia Post COVID-19

Geopolitical Implications for Australia

Post-COVID-19 Re-sets

The Return of Direct Defense in Europe

The European Union and Direct Defense of Europe

Re-thinking Military Supply Chain Security

The UK in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Boris Johnson and COVID-19

Boris in Wonderland

Boris Cancels Christmas

The Second National French Lockdown: Part One

The Second French National Lockdown: Part Two

Late Deliveries

Cultural storm

Moving About During COVID-19

Global Strategic Dynamics

Is a War with China Inevitable?

Shaping Allied Strategies to Deal with China

Reshaping China Strategy

An Indian Perspective on the Chinese Challenge

The QUAD and Its Evolution

The Indian-U.S. Defense Partnership

Korean Peace Regime

Taiwan Trends and Scenarios

Brazil: Prospects for 2020

The Political Landscape

Clandestine Commerce

Social and Racial Divisions

Environmental Crisis

The Culture Wars

Shift in Brazil’s International Policies

The Abraham Accords and Their Impact

Israeli Defense After the Abraham Accords: Part 1

Israeli Defense after the Abraham Accords: Part 2

European Dynamics

Europe in Crisis

Overview on Key Crises

The Major Impact of the Migration Crises

Shaping a Way Ahead

President Macron (and Edith Piaf’s) ‘Cri de Coeur’

A Tale of Two Macrons

France’s Domestic Challenges

France’s European and Global Policies

And What About the COVID-19 Impact?

Chancellor Merkel’s Financial Times Interview

The German Presidency of the European Council

Europe and the Libyan Crisis

France and Turkey

Greece and France: The Case of Rafale

Presidents Macron and Erdoğan

The Way Ahead for French Defense?

Renewing Polish-U.S. Leadership within NATO

The UK and the 21st Century Authoritarian Powers

Brexit Through the Lens of John le Carré

Australian Dynamics

The Evolution of Australian Defense Strategy

Air Marshal (Retired) Brown on the 2020 Strategy Reset

Brendan Sargeant on the 2020 Strategy Reset

Where Should Australia’s Defense Focus Lie?

The Regional Threat Environment

Australia’s Vulnerabilities

ADF Focus and Mitigation Strategies

China’s War on Australian Sovereignty

A Bit of History

Brazil and the U.S. during World War ll and its Aftermath

Calouste Gulbenkian: The Art of the Deal

The Abraham Accords

The Beginnings of Globalization

16th Century Potosi and Global Trade

Producing Silver

The Silver Production Process

Spain and Peru

Potosi Mining Methods

The Trade Routes

The Asian Connection

The End of the Potosi Era

Lessons from the 1930s for the Australian Defense

In Lieu of a Conclusion

2020 a Pivotal Year?

Europe and the Mediterranean: The Challenges in 2021

The Disaggregation of the United Kingdom

The European Union and the China Insertion

Erdoğan works his Agenda

Russian Dynamics

The UK, France and Sovereignty in the 21st Century

French Sovereignty

Sovereignty as Nostalgia

Forms of Sovereignty

A Europe Forged in Crisis?

A Borderless Challenge at Stake: The Schengen Paradox

A Cohesive COVID Bailout

What’s next for Europe?

China, Australia and Global Change

Authors and Interviewees

Dr. Ross Babbage

David Beaumont

John Blackburn

Anne Borzycki

Paul Bracken

Air Marshal (Retired) Geoff Brown

Paul Dibb

Debalina Ghoshal

Chloe-Alexandra Laird

Dr. Robbin F. Laird

Scott Graham Lovell

Dr. Harald Malmgren

Matt Medley

Professor Kenneth Maxwell

CDR Tim Myers

Brendan Sargeant

Pierre Tran

Richard Weitz

Recent Second Line of Defense Books

The Return of Direct Defense in Europe:

Meeting the 21st Century Authoritarian Challenge.

Joint by Design: The Evolution of Australian Defense Strategy

Training for the High-End Fight: The Strategic Shift of the 2020s


This book focuses on the impact of COVID-19 and strategic change evidenced in 2020. The book incorporates a number of essays and articles from our two major websites, Second Line of Defense ( http://www.sldinfo.com ) and Defense Information ( http://www.defense.info )

2020 was a unique year. I have brought together our essays and articles, highlighting that uniqueness as well as focusing on a number of the strategic dynamics of 2020. In effect, the book is a reader, which provides an overview on the challenge of navigating strategic change at a time of COVID-19 disruption.

The book is divided into six parts.

The first part highlights our assessments of COVID-19, and its impact on defense and shaping a way ahead.

The second part highlights a number of broader global dynamics of change, which include a variety of assessments of Brazil, the Pacific, and the Middle East.

The third part highlights developments Europe-wide, and upon the Macron and Merkel leadership responses, traces a number of French policy developments and the challenges of dealing with 21st century authoritarian states.

The fourth part focuses on Australian developments, with the launching of a new defense strategy and a shift in Australian-Chinese relations being key considerations.

The fifth part provides some relevant historical perspectives, which provide some insights with regard to the way ahead as well.

The final part provides a set of essays providing a conclusion for the book.

Throughout the book, we start the articles with the date on which the article was published, on either Second Line of Defense or Defense Information, to provide a time framework for that particular article. We highlight our authors at the end of the book.

We hope you find our analyses and interviews informative and contribute to further thinking and analyses by our readers. For that is our goal.

Chapter 1:

Navigating the COVID-19 World

When a Black Swan Comes

May 20, 2020

We first published this article on January 8, 2012, and given the COVID-19 events, it seems prudent to republish it, as it focuses on the challenge of building resilient organizations.

The article as published in 2012 follows:

The Second Line of Defense team has been involved in crises management situations throughout their careers. And crises management is a key issue in which the team is both interested and has published several inputs.

During a trip to Europe in November 2011, Second Line of Defense’s Robbin Laird sat down with Paul Theron of the Thales Group, a French multinational company that provides services for the aerospace, defense, transportation and security markets, to discuss his work on the challenge of crafting resilient organizations. Theron is head of a working group within Thales, which addressed the key challenges surrounding collapse and response in crisis situations. The group has focused on the challenge, in general, and within the telecommunications infrastructures in particular.

Black swan and gray swan events are a regular occurrence in the 21st century. Building organizations which can deal with their dynamics are crucial. At the heart of coping and recovering is the core capability of resilience.

In this chapter, we are going to provide an overview of some of the key dynamics of change associated with the need to provide flexible and agile capabilities to manage 21st century complexity. In other words, we are going to harvest some of the findings and points during the discussion and create a narrative regarding the challenge of crafting a resilient organization.

The brief by Theron is based on several real-world events from which some core propositions about resiliency were developed. Among these events are the impact and response to Hurricane Katrina, the challenge of trauma faced by Paris firemen, and the Mann Gulch fire incident in Montana in August 1949.

At the heart of the challenge is recognizing that 21st century societies and organizations have an inherent complexity within which system or sub-system collapse can be expected. The need is to prepare for the unexpected because that is the expected.

As Theron noted: We live in such a complex world, that we cannot forecast what’s going to happen next. Crises are largely started by incidents but as an incident unfolds, there are multiple dynamics in which simply responding to the initial incident will not be sufficient. Indeed, focusing simply on a single incident and following the procedures for normal response to a single incident will lead to system or sub-system failure.

Theron underscored that events which started in a relatively limited way start impacting the whole world because the phenomenon propagates to other spheres, which themselves are going to affect other spheres, and from one sphere to the next, the phenomenon amplifies, becomes bigger, but in a way that you can hardly predict because in fact you’re going to have so many interactions between those spheres that the way each interaction will work is completely unpredictable.

This means that as collapse is generated by events, the response team and its leaders need to not only multi-task but also look for a core thread around which recovery can be built. To do so will require not simply mobilizing internal resources but seeking outside resources as well. A key element is to NOT focus on the proximate cause of the collapse but to weave together a more comprehensive response and narrative, which would allow recovery.

Theron cautioned that "you can’t plan for everything for every single disaster, and this is more so the case as you move up to the stage where the phenomena are going to combine with each other into something completely new, and so you have to have that capability to create solutions to react dynamically to whatever emerges in the time of crisis.

And that is how most companies think they are going to resolve all issues. But that way of thinking is wrong because we are not talking about a basic flood or a basic fire that ruins your computer department—we are talking about something that is going to be complex, which is going to mix, maybe a fire ruining your computer department combined with the financial crisis, plus the arrest of your manager because he committed financial fraud, and so on. And these incidents create an event of such a magnitude and complexity that your business continuity plans are useless. You have to rethink, reposition, and refocus in shaping a recovery strategy.

Collapse is about system recovery and redirection. The two elements are highly correlated. Indeed, Theron emphasized that crisis is an experience of collapse. To navigate through a collapse is the attribute of resilience. Resilience is the aptitude of a socio-technical system to surmount a crisis.

It is demonstrated by several behavioral elements: getting by, resisting, resuming and rebounding from a crisis. A number of key elements can be highlighted about the nature of the challenge of dealing with crises and ways to shape resilient organizations. Crises are an inherent part of interdependent and complex 21st century societies. They are multifunctional and interactive. If you prepare for a single-incident crisis, you are putting yourself in harm’s way. Complex crisis management requires robust and resilient solutions. Resilience is based on tactical and strategic agility. Leadership and response teams can operate beyond the near-term focal point.

Leveraging outside resources towards a clear end is crucial in situations of collapse and recovery. Agility requires bundling internal and external resources to create a growth after a disaster outcome. Resilience for organizations and societies is agile robustness.

According to Theron: "Resilience is the aptitude to face a crisis and to surmount a crisis. To do that you need four aptitudes, three of which are drawn upon in the dynamics of dealing with collapse. The first is the capability to get by. You have a core mission, e.g., it is to rescue people in buildings and fire, if you are a fireman; if you are a telecommunication provider, it’s to deliver a communication service; for an army in the battlefield, it is to fight according to the plans set for you and you are not supposed to give up your mission, even if you are facing death. The second is resisting the destructive pressure of the circumstances. That means that you don’t allow yourself to be drawn down to the point where you’re going to die. Three, you have to find ways to resume your normal activity. And four, you have to rebound. This means that once the crisis is over—when you are finally in the past crisis stage—you have to think about what happened, to draw the lessons from what happened.

"You have to look at how at the world around you—maybe it has changed to a point significant enough to imply that you should adapt to that new world around you, and get rid the old structures, the old plans, and the old ways of life.

And that’s rebounding. And if the first three help you through the collapse stage, the fourth one is going to make you more robust, and probably more resilient because you will have learned that in certain extreme situations, what matters is the way you manage to navigate through the circumstances at hand.

Resilience is generated in part by tactical and strategic agility. The ability to recombine elements and to introduce new ones in shaping a post-collapse system is central. As Theron put it: You have to have that capability to break boundaries, to go beyond them, and think completely differently.

We ended the conversation with Theron emphasizing the centrality of understanding where your organization fits within its matrix of interdependencies. And he highlighted the need to spend time understanding those interdependencies PRIOR to crises, in order to understand how to shape an agile response once crises hit.

"For example, telecommunication depends on energy, electricity, but any electricity depends on telecommunication, and electricity serves gas and water distribution also, and water helps the telecommunication sector because you have to cool down big computer centers, and so on. If you really want to assure the resiliency of a sector like telecommunications, but only focus narrowly on your facility, you will miss the point, because you are in that network of interdependencies and you can’t achieve resilience on your own.

"Your sector is analogous to a social group, which depends on the social groups around it. And that means that you have to can have resiliency not only at your own level, but at a higher level, at a coordinated, collaborative level that is going to help you discuss the problems and prepare upstream for possible unknown, devastating events.

And if you don’t have this collaboration upstream, in times of crisis, you won’t even know who’s the guy at the electricity company that you should know, who could solve your problem. You won’t have that possibility. You won’t have coordinated plans. You won’t have coordinated systems or alternative means to resolve situations.¹

Successful Crisis Leadership

By Timothy J. Myers, May 9, 2020

We live in a world of crisis. Every day the headlines are riddled with one high profile case after another. Today’s global marketplace has created an interconnected web of influence, where a crisis taking place in a geographically remote area can quickly have effects that are felt around the planet. The pace of communication advances and reach of the media have created an environment where crises that were once simply a localized event can almost instantaneously reach national and international notoriety.

In this environment, it is more important than ever to study crisis management and leadership. A crisis, as defined by Barbara Gainey, has the capability to disrupt the entire organization, negatively affect the organization’s public, products and services, jeopardize the organization’s reputation, future profitability, and survival, dramatically redefine an organization, violate the organization’s vision, and inflict long-term damage.²

Pretty heady stuff. Highlighting this definition brings into stark terms the very nature of the crises that we will be examining. These are events that put the very survival of the organization at risk. All too often organizations operate in a full-time crisis mode, where every little challenge is viewed and dealt with as if it is a crisis of epic proportions.

Mislabeling everyday challenges as a crisis can make an organization complacent or even worse, blind to the early indications of an impending crisis. Turning a blind eye to the early warning signs can put the organization at risk, making it incapable of dealing with an actual crisis that is well on its way toward spinning out of control when finally identified. Real crisis, if improperly managed, can put the survival of the organization in jeopardy, resulting in the loss of jobs, services, or in some cases, loss of life.

Leadership is vital to a company’s success in times of crisis. As Normal R. Augustine, the one-time president of Lockheed Martin, and Undersecretary of the Army explains, while the impact of a leader on day-to-day operations is negligible, the one aspect of business in which a chief executive’s influence is measurable, is crisis management.³

Muffet-Willett and Kruse make a similar claim, In times of crisis, leadership becomes an integral cog of a successful organizational crisis outcome. Strong effective leadership is imperative to organizational survival.

It seems it is difficult to overemphasize the role of a leader in times of a crisis. One of the greatest challenges for a leader in a crisis situation is the very unique nature of decision-making during these events. Where leadership in a normal situation usually involves routine decisions made in an environment where the consequences and ramifications of actions are well understood, crisis situations characteristically involve complex decisions made with limited information, but wide-ranging implications, under the pressures of increased scrutiny.

The magnitude of stress created in a crisis environment impacts all levels of an organization, thus making every decision more difficult, and overwhelming the unprepared—a combination which could ultimately make the situation worse. To illustrate this point, every year the Institute for Crisis Management (ICM) analyzes the major crises which took place in the preceding year. In their 2009 report, the ICM found that a majority of the crises were management-related meaning that an organization was responsible for its own crisis because of poor leadership or an incorrect reaction. Essentially bad leadership took a routine issue, mismanaged the response and created a crisis where none should have existed.

In a crisis, leadership is responsible for minimizing the damage, starting the recovery, and implementing future safeguards. This no doubt conjures visions of great crisis leadership, heroically rising to the challenge, with perfectly honed leadership tools like command, open-mindedness, flexibility, decisiveness, empathy and communication.

But how can we ensure that as a leader we are able to exhibit these characteristics? While it may sound uninspiring and less heroic than simply stepping up to the challenge when it arises, true crisis leadership relies on making a resilient team that is capable of responding to a crisis at all levels. A team taking action, empowered to make decisions and communicating effectively, creates an environment which allows a leader to focus on the most important decisions and frees them to concentrate on strategic communications and external cooperation.

This is the key to crisis leadership. A leader must build a team that is ready for the unidentified challenges that lie ahead. With a stalwart focus on making their organization resilient in the face of crisis, a leader can not only hope to survive, but excel during this trying time.

The most effective way to succeed in a crisis is to be prepared for one. Success in any endeavor, especially those times where the stakes are high and the pressure is on, relies on the flawless execution of basic functions, which in turn takes planning and practice.

Leadership during and immediately following the crisis is extremely important, but any leader can be successful only if there is significant planning and preparation for the event.

Preparation is vital to a leader’s ability to successfully guide an organization through a crisis.

The complex environment surrounding a crisis makes it almost unfathomable to think that a leader could effectively navigate a corporation without a high level of preparation. Most corporate leaders recognize this fact, yet many of them have not sufficiently prepared for crisis, primarily because organizations are overwhelmingly biased toward addressing current operations.

Planning is therefore relegated to the perpetually unsavory position of being the issue to address tomorrow. This is where a leader’s focus on prioritizing crisis planning is so important. Leaders must put priority in preparation or else no one in the organization will. As Robin Kielkowski argues, Making what seems like a remote possibility real and worthy of attention takes leadership and persistence in pushing through the daily grind.

Only when leaders show that they are interested in the planning and training necessary for successful crisis response, will it hope to gain any traction. This fact of life is primarily because preparation is tough to organize, and typically mundane work. It can easily be put off until tomorrow because most of us are eternal optimists believing there is no way that a crisis will happen tonight.

Overconfidence is a common issue. In a survey of Fortune 500 CEOs, 80% identified that a crisis was inevitable in business, yet only 50% said they had a plan. Despite this disconnect, a staggering 97% were confident that they would respond well if a crisis occurred. The idea that a leader can single-handedly and successfully guide their organization through a crisis with no planning is certainly optimistic, if not delusional. Supporting this argument, Augustine points out that in his experience as a CEO we must make plans for dealing with crises.

Still another barrier to crisis planning is the notion that it is impossible to create a valid crisis response plan due to our inability to properly anticipate what a crisis might entail.⁹ But as Stern points out in his article, planning can and should allow for flexibility in real-time. This minimizes the importance of perfect planning factors.

Additionally, the process of planning can often reap collateral benefits including familiarity with organizational contexts, capabilities, social networks and psychological preparedness that are far more valuable than the plans themselves.¹⁰ Even if planning only organizes or provides one set of viable solutions to a multi-faceted problem, it can still help relieve some of the issues that arise in a crisis.

Simply knowing the first response to a crisis can help break the paralyzing inertia that is an almost inevitable human response. This first step allows the organization to start moving to react, instead of looking around for someone to take charge.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast of the United States. The ineffective response of a number of federal agencies including FEMA will forever be remembered. The extent of the damage, and destruction of communications and transportation infrastructure slowed the response and likely cost lives. Despite these challenges, the Coast Guard was able to respond effectively, saving 1,200 lives before the federal first responders were even on the scene.¹¹

Why was the Coast Guard able to react in an environment where other federal organizations failed? In the wake of the March 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, and related Fukushima power plant radiation accident, Lawson, a chain of Japanese convenience stores in the affected area, resumed 80% of its business in four short days, providing vital supplies to a Japanese population which had just experienced the catastrophic loss of 20,000 of its people.¹²

What corporate feature allowed Lawson to rise from the ashes of this local catastrophe? Both of these organizations were able to achieve success where others failed because of decentralized management structures, allowing decisions to happen at all levels. This model works precisely because when uncertainty is high, as in a crisis situation, having empowered decision makers close to the source allows for a rapid and appropriate response.

Hayashi and Soo use the Lawson example to demonstrate that organizations fare better in a sustained crisis if they have a distributed leadership, and dispersed workforce, less interdependency among parts of the organization, a cross-trained generalist rather than specialists, and if they are guided by simple yet flexible rules.¹³

Brumfield makes a similar connection, concluding that the successful Coast Guard response was due primarily to the fact that each district command and control center was empowered to act autonomously to appropriately respond to whatever situation they faced during their disaster response.¹⁴

In countless examples, empowered employees making good decisions is the key to timely and effective crisis response. But choosing to adopt this business model is not as easy as simply drafting an instruction which delineates decisional authority to lower levels. A leader must foster an environment using transformational and adaptive leadership principles in order to build a team capable of properly responding when the time comes.

One of the best ways to have these types of employees in a time of crisis is to practice transformational leadership during normal operations as well. Fully engaged employees will be more adept at stepping into a given situation because they already own the company’s principles and the long-term mission of the organization.

This extra context and ownership are vital to ensure that decisions made at a lower level are consistent with organizational strategic objectives. Crises create an environment that is wholly different than standard operations, so it is not enough to simply rely on empowered employees who are trained in the day-to-day operations to successfully respond in an emergency. Employees must be fully integrated into crisis planning and provided extensive hands-on training if a company wants a truly resilient workforce.

To illustrate how this type of crisis preparation should take place, we will examine how military pilots train. I have had the distinct honor of both participating as a junior officer, and training as a more senior officer, for the eventuality of crisis in combat as an F/A-18 strike-fighter pilot.

You will see many of the same challenges faced in any crisis—uncertainty, decisions with limited information, time-sensitive response and communications are all evident in combat, but applicable to any crisis.

We will start with the end state goal of any resilient organization, and that is to create a good decision maker who knows how their actions impact the greater mission. Someone who also understands the bounds and limits within which they must work, and the difference between decisions they should make and ones that need to be made at a higher level of authority.

For example, a military pilot, often times a very junior officer, must be able to enter a dynamic situation, where it is impossible to predict all of the variables or provide a set of answers ahead of time. The pilot must collect all of the information, working through the time constraints on the ground, their limited fuel or ordinance, ignore distractors and detractors, keeping their minds open to new information, and ultimately make a decision that is consistent with the commander’s intent, the rules of engagement, and the ultimate strategic mission.

Because of the unpredictability of combat operations, every pilot must be equipped to make a decision on their own and empowered to do so because they have been a part of the process from the very start. This lofty goal is achievable only because a leader has ensured that the military pilot has been fully involved at all levels of crisis preparation.

The first level is the planning phase. In the planning phase of a military operation, just as in any business, it is important to identify all of the factors that could affect the plan. Being able to think of what could create issues, identifying their consequences and weighing their costs is the most important part of avoiding a crisis altogether.¹⁵

The leader is extremely important to this phase because they will have a different view which encompasses all of the organizational priorities and can also help identify what is most critical.

Often leadership looks to keep this planning phase at a very high level to protect themselves, but only by incorporating all of the members of the team in this process can you hope to provide the context that is vital to crisis management.

After a solid plan is developed, the military pilot then takes part in extensive training. In this phase, the leader has an opportunity to work them through scenarios, in a classroom setting, to make sure that everyone is on the same page with regards to the leader’s intent and organizational priorities. It is impossible to create a scenario or identify every situation that one might face, but by reinforcing the thought processes in each scenario, methodically addressing every major consideration, it is possible to get everyone on the same page.

Once the classroom training is complete, a military pilot then takes to the sky to practice their crisis leadership in a simulated scenario. This level of training is important for two reasons. First, it allows the junior leader to apply their knowledge to an unforeseen scenario which could closely resemble the actual crisis. Familiarity with the crisis environment is vital to success in an actual crisis. Every organization needs to make sure that they practice, as realistically as possible, for a situation. Close simulation can also identify issues with the plan that were not readily apparent in the classroom. The second benefit of real hands-on training is that a leader again has an opportunity after the exercise to shape their junior leaders. This final check makes sure that everyone is clear on the ultimate goals of the organization.

While it may be simple to dismiss this level of preparation as something that can only be applied in the military where there is already a significant emphasis on training, Eric Stern in his article, ‘Preparing: The Sixth Task of Crisis Leadership,’ advocates for a similar system for every organization. He argues, Leaders must be (and try to ensure that their team members, key subordinates, and key partners are) educated, trained, and exercised in preparation for crisis management. Advocating for the

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