Survival instincts in times of crisis: weakness or asset?

When faced with a threat, our instinctive reaction is, depending on our personality, to attack, flee or freeze (Fight, Flight, Freeze). Think of the reactions of the wolf, the doe and the chameleon, for example.

The COVID-19 pandemic exposes us to many dangers. Are these reflex physiological reactions then our allies, or our enemies? How can we put all the chances on our side to get out of this?




Flight:

To run away, or not to face reality. We are now used to hear many people say that the danger is not real, or that it is exaggerated, that all of this is much ado about nothing.

Yet nothing helps. Containment or not, denial or not, when employees are sick, when customers are sick, things just don't work out.

The more time passes, the more difficult business becomes, and the more tired one gets. We are not going to invest when everything is going badly! We no longer have the means to do anything, apart from reducing costs, expenses, production ...



Freeze:

Freeze and wait for it to pass, hoping that, on the one hand, the danger will miraculously spare us, and on the other hand, that everything will resume as before as soon as the danger is over.

Unfortunately, we realise too late that we should have taken action way sooner to protect ourselves, and that nothing works as "before".


Fight:

Fight against the circumstances with the means we have. Continue at all costs, persevere until you get the results you want, or ... until you lose the battle. However, everything has changed around us and the weapons that used to perform well in the past no longer work today.


So, how do we get out of this?

Let us take a different perspective


Freeze:

Sometimes being frozen for a short time gives us a better idea of ​​what is changing and allows us to react with a little less risk and a step ahead of the competition. It is the opposite of panic, time to think. This is what the lion does in the face of danger, just before attacking.


Fight:

If we are agile enough, it can also be helpful to look for new weapons (tools, methods), using the enemy's force against him (for example, pivoting on products made necessary by the crisis). Changing the way we do things (for example, closing the store and starting home deliveries).


Flight:

In a positive sense, it can also mean not focusing on something that doesn't work anymore. Go and see elsewhere if we can do better. Explore new tools, new ideas, do things differently, in short, innovate.

In Short


Do:

  • Take the time for reflection (strategic, technological, competitive intelligence),

  • Look for new opportunities brought by the crisis (ideation, strategic plan),

  • Find the means to be implemented (process, human resources, technologies)

  • Race towards the opportunity (action plan, project management)


Be:

  • Agile

  • Flexible

  • Innovative

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