Are you ready? Crisis leadership in a hyper-VUCA environment
Keywords:meta-leadership, VUCA, crisis, crisis leader, advisor, crisis leader advisor, disaster management, incident command system, NIMS
The current hyper-volatile, -uncertain, -complex, and -ambiguous (VUCA) threat environment demands a more cohesive support structure for crisis leaders who may be faced with crises of increasing magnitude and frequency and, in some instances, multiple crisis events simultaneously. The project team investigates the perceptions of crisis leaders regarding establishing a crisis leader advisor position for crisis leaders to benefit from their experience while prosecuting crisis response activities. The team linked hyper-VUCA crises, crisis response frameworks, meta-leadership, crisis leader attributes, and advisor attributes. The overall goal of the project is to increase the ability of the crisis leaders to more effectively and efficiently navigate crisis events resulting in more efficient and effective response and recovery. Three research questions were developed to assess the following: thoughts of integrating a crisis leader advisor position; development of a crisis leader advisor certification program; and attributes of crisis leader advisors. A qualitative research methodology using a phenomenological approach was employed. Forty-one participants were purposefully selected and administered a short, on-line survey consisting of 11 questions. Data were analyzed using percentage analysis, weighted sums, and inductive thematic analysis. The project team found an overwhelming support for the crisis leader advisor position and the crisis leader advisor certification program. Additionally, experience and trustworthiness ranked among the top sought after attributes of a crisis leader advisor. The team recommendations included (1) implement a crisis leaders advisor guide/framework; (2) create a formal crisis leader advisor position in national incident management system; (3) implement a crisis leader advisor certification framework; (4) benchmark established advisor programs; and (5) implement a framework to match leaders and advisors.
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