Four Stages of Denial. What you can do about it? First of all: Face the facts.
While we all prefer that Covid-19 had not happened, however, not dealing effectively with the situation that has presented itself is almost as bad as the event itself. I am still seeing a lot of denial, false hope, and blame, and I am not talking (international) politics now! Plenty of businesses do not have a plan, an approach, or a method to return to profitability, other than the lame ‘regretful restructure’ approach.
The four stages of denial is a useful model when thinking about risk, whether it is commercial, reputational or any other risk an organisation faces. Denial happens when an organisation -or individual- is unprepared to look at the consequences of events or potential events. The four stages of denial are:
When you read these, think about the last time you heard someone in business follow this line of narrative when explaining their dire state of affairs. Was that yesterday? Go figure!
It looks a lot like this example:
It would have been great if globally we had not exercised the four stages to the pandemic that is still rampant. But now it’s here, we face other events or circumstances that we can choose to deny or choose to address. A second outbreak? An even more virulent pandemic? More natural disasters? Climate change induced events?
What I see most businesses now denying, is that our business environment has forever changed. Face the facts. The business climate as we know it has been broken and will be remade for sure, but a different future is in store for us.
So what can you do to prevent the slippery slope of denial?
First of all, always look at the facts. Get your information from multiple sources and encourage diverse views; therefore use your team and your wider network. Analyse the new environment. Build your organisations’ view of the current reality. What are the true risks? What can be done to eliminate or mitigate these risks? This is all part of a solid strategy review and development cycle. Take charge of your own future because no-one else will.