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Seizing Opportunities: Unconventional Responses for Unprecedented Situations

By Dr Sergio Pellegrinelli

When faced with challenging and unprecedented situations we tend to draw on all available knowledge and experience to respond.  Too often, though, proven strategies, approaches and techniques lead to poor, sometime damaging, outcomes.

Despite our best efforts, we may become unwitting prisoners of inappropriate assumptions and practices that have been developed and honed in normal times.  Unprecedented situations call for radical, insightful and creative thinking and unconventional responses. 

Taking a hypothetical situation to explore how apparently reasonable courses of actions may fall short, illustrates how new possibilities might be created, questioning conventional wisdom and applying some disciplined imagination.  Normal responses to abnormal situations are unlikely to generate the best results.  The greater our expertise in normal circumstances, the harder it might be to look afresh and question fundamental assumptions. 

Decision-makers need to be wary of being guided by the conventions of science rather than what might be possible within the bounds of science.




This is one of four articles written by Sergio surrounding certain issues faced in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, read also: 

Dealing with Risks: Shortfalls in Responses
Embrace the Future or Restore the Past? Some Leadership Choices in Shaping the Post-Covid-19 Era
Supporting Economic Recovery: Targeted Interventions or Macro-Economic Stimuli?

About the Author

Dr Sergio Pellegrinelli is a visiting fellow at Cranfield School of Management and is an experienced consultant and lecturer specialising in strategy and programme management. Sergio has over 20 years' experience as a management consultant, and his current and recent clients include Atkins, Biffa Waste Services, British Nuclear Group, Ericsson, ING, Lloyds TSB, Oracle Corporation, Quintiles and Royal and Sun Alliance. His consulting work ranges from traditional analytical consulting interventions to tailored management development aimed at embedding new skills and/or effecting change within organisations. Sergio facilitates strategy formulation processes, contributing both ideas and the strategy frameworks, and helps managers to design and undertake strategy implementation programmes, M & A integrations and complex organisational change initiatives.

Tags: leadership, organisational resilience, article