A Country Beset by Reports of Crisis
"the largest workforce crisis on record", "childcare crisis", "aged care crisis" and a "rental crisis"
Switch on the T.V. or the radio, open a newspaper in Australia or a news app, and there is a crisis. In today's Australian "news" reporting, "crises" are ubiquitous.
How do governments or businesses get the basics done when a crisis demands their attention daily?
Every day, the news media reports on an ever-growing list of crises, from "Australia's Growing Drug Crisis" to the "Cost of Living Crisis", from the "mental health crisis" to the "G.P. crisis" to the "skills shortage crisis" to the "climate crisis."
Daily, we hear the repeated phrases the "rental crisis," "mortgage affordability crisis," "construction crisis," and a "banking crisis." There is a "growing crisis of overwhelmed hospitals" and an "aged-care crisis", while Alice Springs is at a "crisis point" due to youth crime and violence at school.
It has even been reported that our elites are in crisis, too, "Bar associations in Australia are facing "a profound crisis."
Given the number of crises, I am surprised we don't have a crisis manager skills shortage crisis 😉
The Oxford Dictionary defines a crisis as "a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger." In societal or national affairs, a crisis refers to an event or situation that jeopardizes or considerably disturbs a society's or country's regular operations. It demands an urgent and often collaborative response to avert further harm or loss.Are these crises? Can these problems be solved "urgently"? Can they be framed as opportunities?
Compared to the troubles of the people of Sudan, Yemen, Myanmar, and Ukraine, are these crises at all?
Understandably, constant exposure to the reporting of crises can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and despair.
Superimposed on this is the use of the word "broken" to describe government systems. The Home Affairs Minister referred to the migration system as "broken", and the Victorian Shadow Minister for Education described the child protection system as broken. In a first-world country, are they broken, or could they be improved?
We must seek higher standards of storytelling that generate action rather than pessimism, leading to public policy paralysis.
In conclusion, while the matters and problems are serious, it's essential to remember that they are not insurmountable.
With an optimistic mindset, approach, and resources, we can tackle our society's problems and reframe them as opportunities to improve and create a better future for everyone.
Leadership in Times of Crisis
George Dakos, managing director of Stedima Business Consultants, said. “The great leader should be able to act as a beam of courage and optimism for others when they are hit by the crisis blues."
Jose J. Ruiz, chief executive officer of executive search firm Alder Koten, said leaders "must provide comfort and stability, show empathy, exude optimism, and proceed transparently and sincerely – all while making difficult decisions, taking courageous action, and decisively guiding their teams. That is a tall order, but we’ve seen it fulfilled time and again by great leaders in times of crisis.”
Thomasina Miers, chef and entrepreneur, wrote, "So many of us feel overwhelmed by negative news stories and our own roles in trying to make the world better, but hope is essential in all of this: dreaming of a better life for ourselves and for our children gives us hope; hope gives us agency. Let’s keep dreaming to afford ourselves the optimism and motivation to act."