Initiate the Recovery Process

The leader must first get the recovery process underway. The two key tasks are below.

Inspire the organization to action. Build a case that change is needed. However, don’t over-dramatize the situation or assign blame. Give details of the problem, but don’t give a litany of failure. Ideally, the leader will seize the initiative and frame how the issue of recovery is viewed and thought of in the organization.

Do a quick analysis of who possesses credibility and enlist them in the cause. This could be an influential community member, an oversight/regulatory agency, etc. Their weight on the issue could rally the organization. See Step 1 - Recognition, for more information on building the case for a recovery process.

In addition, also start building credibility of people inside the organization. Borrowed credibility may be useful at the launch, but if it is not backed by consistent commitment and leadership the recovery process will lose momentum.

Get information out.
Share information on the financial situation, but at the same time acknowledge imperfection in the information. For example, a long-term forecast is critical at this stage, but it is not a crystal ball. Model scenarios and provide ranges of expected values. Also, update the forecast regularly to account for new information. Compare past forecasts to actual experience and explain why there were differences.

Also, begin to describe the goal of the recovery process. A better employee workplace and creating value with tax dollars for the community are the larger goals.

Back to Leadership Tasks in the Bridge Stage
Go on to Get a Handle on the Situation