Crisis management

Today I attended a wonderful seminar on crisis management given by C.Y. Lam, former director of the Hong Kong Observatory. Here are the points I summed up:

How problems and crises come about

  • Change is complicated. Change is happening faster and faster.
  • Human troubles began about 10,000 years ago when farming began. Farming led to humans having to guard their land, patriarchical society, system, management, conflict, etc.
  • Human society became increasingly complicated. Today It is like we are living in a state of "invisible serfdom" in which we are not in control and do not know who the boss is.

Fortunately for humans, we are well equipped to handle crisis. There are seeds of happiness in us. We have more answers than questions, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to survive the test of nature.

Here is how to deal with crisis:

  • Use teamwork and communication.
  • Operate on care, kindness and optimism.
  • Remain sober and do not get worked up.
  • Do not back off.
  • Let go of your ego. Accept that you have intrinsic limitations and that things do not always happen as youwish.
  • Change your perspective. Imagine how the crisis in the present will be looked at in the future, say thirty years later. Will it still matter? Will anyone still remember?
  • Crisis offers opportunities. New situations produce new possibilities.

I particularly like his conclusion that we can always enrich our intuition with rationalism, common sense and positive values. We can then try to solve any crisis with our intuition and optimism.

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