High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis Coursera Quiz Answers

All Weeks High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis Coursera Quiz Answers

This course has been designed to help leaders, like you, learn how to effectively navigate the challenges of significant organizational disruptions. As a participant in this course, you’ll discover why an understanding of various stakeholder perspectives can inform and dramatically improve a leader’s response to events that threaten an organization’s very survival.

This course is also about understanding and developing individual and organizational resilience—the ability to anticipate potential threats; to cope effectively with adverse events when they occur; and to adapt to changing conditions, ensuring a viable path forward for yourself, your team, and your organization.

These topics are particularly relevant in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Many course examples will reference lessons leaders around the world have learned during this far-reaching healthcare crisis.

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High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis Coursera Quiz Answers

Week 1: End of Module 2 Knowledge Validation

Q1. The acronym VUCA, as presented in this course, describes a business environment that is:

  • Veracity, Universality, Consistency, and Ambivalence
  • Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous
  • Vexing, Unknowable, Confusing, and Accelerating
  • Velocity, Uncertainty, Customer-Centricity, and Ambiguity
  • Visionary, Ubiquitous, Cosmic, and Asymptotic

Q2. Which of the following describe reasons that crises are no longer a question of “if” but “when” for High Stakes Leaders? Choose all that apply.

  • Business processes are accelerating and increasing in complexity
  • Businesses are getting more comfortable with the idea of delivering products that are “good enough” as opposed to “perfect” into the market
  • Businesses are accepting the idea of “fail fast, fail small, fail well” as a mechanism for innovation
  • Competitive pressures for first access to Customers are forcing businesses to rush offerings into the marketplace
  • The impact of the increasingly VUCA business environment

Q3. What lessons should High Stakes Leaders draw from this definition of a crisis: “A crisis is an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome”? Choose all that apply.

  • That Stakeholders will want to know who has his/her/their hands on the wheel and is going to provide leadership
  • That both inside and outside of the organization, there will be a growing sense of anxiety that has the potential to last for an extended period of time
  • That there is a very high possibility the future won’t only be different, but that it will also be worse
  • That there will be increasing concern about how the crisis will lead to change—about how things will be different in the wake of the catastrophe
  • That the situation at hand – the crisis – is going to create an environment that will not be pleasant for anyone involved

Q4. Which of the following are universal truths about stakeholder expectations during a crisis? Choose all that apply.

  • People want and need leaders that they can believe in
  • People will expect their leaders to be visible, courageous, and committed to the best possible path forward
  • People will look to leaders for tangible evidence of leadership
  • People will expect their leaders to be omniscient
  • People will expect their leaders to be perfect

Q5. Which of the following statements were used in this module to describe the concept of an organizational “stakeholder”? Choose all that apply.

  • Business can be understood as a set of relationships among groups which have a stake in the activities that make up the business.
  • If a group or individual can affect a business, then the executives must take that group into consideration in thinking about how to create value.
  • Regardless of the age or maturity of a business, all stakeholder groups will be equally important to engage.
  • The stakes of each stakeholder group are multifaceted, and inherently connected to each other.
  • To create value for stakeholders, executives must understand that business is fully situated in the realm of humanity.

Q6. Which of the following questions or statements were used in this week’s lessons to illustrate the concept of “value propositions” that stakeholders might have with an enterprise? Choose all that apply.

  • “Value propositions of competitors can be threatened by a crisis in your organization”
  • “How do customers perceive the value offered by your organization and what are they willing to pay for it?”
  • “What do your customers value in their relationship with your organization?”
  • “When your company is facing a crisis, typically only primary stakeholders will perceive a threat to their value propositions.”

“As a high stakes leader, it is your job to understand how each stakeholder’s value proposition is threatened during a crisis and to be able to do something about it.”

Q7. Which of the following should be considered key stakeholder management lessons illustrated in JetBlue’s Winter Storm crisis? Choose all that apply.

  • The Media can serve the interests of a company during a crisis.
  • Government Regulators can serve as helpful partners during a crisis.
  • It is very important for high stakes leaders to know their business well enough to understand Investor interests during a crisis.
  • Employees may lose trust and confidence in leadership during a crisis.
  • Customers want to have options when a company is facing a crisis and they want to be part of the decision-making process in the selection of the best option.

Q8. Which of the following is NOT an important aspect of Stakeholder Engagement during a crisis?

  • Once crisis leaders have determined which stakeholders to engage, they need to determine how, when, and through what medium they should communicate with them
  • Consider how and when each stakeholder group should be engaged
  • Early in a crisis, it’s important to take the time to get a clear picture of the facts before communicating with stakeholders
  • Determine which stakeholders have been impacted most significantly by the situation
  • Engage all stakeholder groups early in a crisis, if possible, to let them all know that the organizational leadership team is aware of the situation

Q9. Why is it critical for an individual or small team within an organization to serve as the primary source of “the facts” during a crisis? Choose all that apply.

  • Stakeholders will be looking anywhere they can for information
  • Stakeholders may believe and respond to any information they receive, regardless of the source from which they receive it
  • High stakes leaders should assume that stakeholders are smart and that they will be able to distinguish between facts and misinformation
  • During a crisis, stakeholders will be very interested in learning “the facts” as quickly as possible
  • Social media will facilitate access to information that may or may not be accurate

Q10. Which of the following describe reasons that crisis leaders should always remember that “No News is News” during a crisis?

  • High Stakes Leaders will be hesitant to communicate with Stakeholders when they don’t believe that there is any new information to share
  • High Stakes Leaders should want to communicate on a frequent and regular basis to establish themselves or their teams as “the source of facts” during a crisis
  • During a crisis, Stakeholders are likely to be anxious, perhaps fearful, and they want information
  • Stakeholders will assume that when they aren’t hearing anything new from High Stakes Leaders, there is no new information to be shared
  • Stakeholders will be watching the activity taking place during a crisis and will assume that this activity is leading to new insights

Week 2: High Stakes Leadership

Quiz 1: End of Module 3 Knowledge Validation

Q1. Which of the following statements best describes the concept of organizational resilience?

  • The ability of a business to recover from a significant disruption
  • A capability that allows businesses to leverage their relationships with Stakeholders
  • A capacity which enables an organization to cope effectively with unexpected events, bounce back from crises, and foster future success after having dealt with a crisis
  • A collection of stages, each of which present challenges and obstacles, and that an understanding of each can help an organization become much better prepared for the inevitable
  • A required capability for any businesses operating in today’s VUCA environment

Q2. Which of the following statements describe aspects of the Resilience Model as described in this module? Choose all that apply.

  • Each stage in the model include require both cognitive actions and behavioral actions to be effectively resilient
  • Three stages of organizational resilience are described in the model: Anticipation, Coping, and Adaptation
  • The Coping stage in the organizational resilience model is, by far, the most important stage to manage effectively
  • Each stage in the model can benefit from effective stakeholder engagement
  • Lessons from previous experience contribute to a prior knowledge base, which can help organizations become more resilient

Q3. During the module, a comparison was made between organizational resilience and organizational agility. The argument presented suggested that a capacity for resilience is simply good business, as it helps organizations become more agile. In this context, which of the following capacities were suggested as necessary for both agility and resilience in organizations?

  • Aligning and realigning resources: Quickly deploying and then redeploying sufficient resources, talent, and skills to support effective execution
  • Transforming knowledge: Efficiently and quickly acquiring, building, sharing, and applying valuable knowledge to clearly defined, critical priorities
  • Sense-making: Scanning and analyzing tremendous amounts of diverse information, and then quickly forming hypotheses and mental models about what the organization is experiencing
  • Acting decisively: Cultivating a strong but informed action bias throughout the organization
  • Crisis management: Effectively managing crises as they appear

Q4. Which of the following are NOT aspects or characteristics of the Anticipation phase of organizational resilience as described in this module? Choose all that apply.

  • It is the first dimension of organizational resilience and describes its preventive aspects relative to a disturbance
  • It has been defined as ‘‘the ability to ‘look down the line’ to determine how the environment is expected to change with a view to making decisions and taking actions in the present that promote desirable outcomes and circumvent disruptions in the future
  • It includes four specific capabilities: 1) the ability to observe internal and external developments, 2) the ability to identify critical developments and potential threats, 3) as far as possible—to prepare for unexpected events, and 4) to cope with threats when they reach critical proportion
  • During this phase, firms with greater levels of resilience are able to see the unexpected faster than others and they are better prepared to take corrective action immediately
  • It refers to the ability to detect critical developments within the firm or in its environment and to adapt proactively

Q5. Internal observations are critical to effective threat anticipation. It was argued in the module that a purpose-built culture was necessary to optimize the potential of these internal observations. Which of the following statements illustrate aspects of an optimum culture for effective internal observations? Choose all that apply.

  • To ensure that internal stakeholders are motivated to serve in an observational capacity, a portion of their compensation should be attached to observational effectiveness
  • To ensure that internal stakeholders are effective in their observational efforts, they need to understand what they should be looking for
  • To effectively communicate their observations, internal stakeholders must have a mechanism for passing information to someone or some team who can address the issues as they are identified
  • Employees are the stakeholder group best-suited to make internal observations
  • To ensure that internal stakeholders are prepared to serve in an observational capacity, they need to understand what is expected of them

Q6. The key cognitive action that must take place during the Coping stage of organizational resilience is Accepting. What forces were described in the module that may inhibit a leader’s willingness to accept the harsh reality of being in a crisis situation? Choose all that apply.

  • Organizational leaders are typically very good at minimizing the time it takes to go from ‘that can’t be true’ to ‘we must face the world as it is’
  • Despite operating in an increasingly VUCA world, leaders are not elevating their levels of interest in looking for signs of trouble
  • Many leaders exhibit either extreme confidence or extreme caution, either of which can destroy what organizations most need in changing times, namely, curiosity, openness, and complex sensing
  • Leaders struggle to “become entirely free of denial, nostalgia, and arrogance”
  • Leaders are uncomfortable with complex topics because “the more we know about these topics, the greater our awareness of how much we don’t know about them”

Q7. Reflection is one of the cognitive actions that should take place during the Adaptation phase of organizational resilience. Which of the following statements were included in the process of reflection that were provided in the module? Choose all that apply.

  • Formulation and testing of a tentative theory to explain the problem
  • Seeking permission for taking action
  • Action
  • Articulation of the problem
  • Analysis of the problem

Q8. Which of the following describe things crisis leaders should keep in mind regarding the contribution of organizational change to a capacity for resilience? Choose all that apply.

  • Organizations must be able to exploit newly developed solutions and transfer them to their individual parts
  • Adaptation involves not only making important changes but also overcoming resistance to change
  • When attempting to lead a change initiative, crisis leaders should make sure that sufficient time has passed to allow stakeholders plenty of time to recover from the stress and anxiety encountered during the crisis
  • Organizations must be aware that putting new knowledge into practice can create new problems or necessitate further changes
  • It is particularly important for organizations to actually act on previously generated knowledge

Q9. What should a high stakes leader keep in mind, according to the recommendations made during this module, regarding how a high stakes leader should leverage stakeholder relationships after a crisis? Choose all that apply.

  • A great way to regain the trust of stakeholders is to engage them in dialogue because they not only want to hear from leaders, but they also want to tell their own stories of how they were impacted by the crisis
  • A great way to engage stakeholders is to formally invite them into the change process as advisors or participants
  • Leaders must help each stakeholder group—perhaps even specific individuals within each group—find reasons to stick with the company, as it learns from the past, to create a better future
  • Remembering that stakeholders value propositions have been threatened by the crisis and that their trust in the enterprise, and the team leading it, have been diminished
  • Leaders should engage stakeholders in ways that rebuild the trust capital that was lost or diminished during the critical sequence of events

Q10. Which of the following were presented as mechanisms for optimizing organizational learning from crisis experiences?

  • Lessons must be translated into improved practices and behaviors
  • Broader learning benefits can be achieved with some sort of facilitated sharing and group discussion
  • Learning can take place through both formal and informal processes
  • Learning from failures is enhanced considerably by interaction and collaboration among employees
  • Rich reflection can be a source of exceptional individual learning

Quiz 2: End of Module 4 Knowledge Validation

Q1. Which of the following statements describe the benefits of understanding how stakeholders are likely to respond during a crisis? Choose all that apply.

  • Facilitates the process of building generic response plans for certain types of situations
  • Helps to identify gaps in crisis response capabilities
  • Helps create a barrier against any form of moral outrage from stakeholders in response to a crisis
  • Aids in prioritizing the types of crises that would be most important for an organization to be prepared for
  • Crises can damage the reputation of the organization and can induce negative responses from angry stakeholders—responses that can range from minor annoyance to active disruptions of organizational objectives through protests and boycotts, to challenging an organization’s legitimacy to exist

Q2. Which of the following is the correct sequence of steps for the Stakeholder Reaction model studied in this module?

  • Evaluation Process, Affective Responses, Outcomes, Trigger Events
  • Trigger Event, Affective Responses, Evaluation Process, Outcomes
  • Affective Responses, Trigger Event, Evaluation Process, Outcomes
  • Evaluation Process, Affective Responses, Trigger Events, Outcomes
  • Trigger Event, Evaluation Process, Affective Responses, Outcomes

Q3. Which of the following statements describe the nature of Trigger Events that deserve consideration from high stakes leaders about? Choose all that apply.

  • Crisis leaders will simply have too many responsibilities in the early stages of a crisis to dedicate time to the needs of external stakeholders. These groups will get the attention they need later in the crisis management process.
  • Each stakeholder will be viewing a Trigger Event in a unique way.
  • Trigger Events, according to researchers, produce what is perceived as a violation of contract expectations.
  • A crisis doesn’t just put the future of a business at risk. Stakeholders will also view the crisis as a threat to their contract with the organization.
  • Partnerships with stakeholders are best viewed as informal agreements that represent the perceptions of two parties and their mutual obligations towards each other. These partnerships are threatened by Trigger Events.

Q4. Stakeholders can help high stakes leaders identify potential threats to an organization. Which of the following describe the potential impact of NOT recognizing stakeholders for their efforts in identifying these threats? Choose all that apply.

  • The organization may miss a great opportunity to provide stakeholders with another reason to be loyal and supportive
  • Stakeholders may no longer be willing to serve as trusted pre-crisis observers for signs of trouble
  • Stakeholders are more likely to actually become threats to an organization if they are not rewarded for providing feedback to the enterprise
  • Stakeholders may no longer make the effort to help the company get better
  • If stakeholders have been trying to tell a company that something is broken and needs to be fixed, and then that something grows into a crisis, these stakeholders will almost certainly assign a much greater degree of responsibility to organizational leaders

Q5. Which of the following statements illustrate aspects of the stakeholder evaluation process, following a violation of contract expectations? Choose all that apply.

  • Stakeholders will no longer do business with the organization
  • Stakeholders will develop a negative perception of the organization and its associated brand image
  • Stakeholders will evaluate the extent to which the organization or a representative of the organization was responsible for the situation
  • Over time, the picture of crisis causes and impact become clearer. As a natural course, stakeholders will continuously re-evaluate responsibility and adjust their assignments of blame
  • Stakeholders will make an assessment of the severity of the situation

Q6. Which of the following illustrate criteria that stakeholders will use to determine the severity of damage caused by a violation of contract expectations?

  • A purely subjective appraisal of severity
  • The amount of property damage caused by the incident
  • The impact on the community and the environment
  • The number of individuals harmed or killed by the incident
  • The financial impact of the incident

Q7. Which of the following statements illustrate how or why stakeholders develop moral outrage as a product of their trigger event evaluation process? Choose all that apply.

  • Organizational crises are often the product of instantaneous, unpredictable eruptions of bad fortune
  • When stakeholders project outward-facing negative emotions, they will also feel the need to correct the wrong or engage in retaliatory behaviors
  • When a crisis has been deemed by stakeholders as “clearly our fault”, and the damage assessment is significant, stakeholder responses will likely be extreme
  • An incident can prime feelings of many different emotions including anger, hostility, shame, frustration, and guilt
  • A stakeholders’ evaluation process will lead to an Affective response of some sort

Q8. Which of the following stakeholder reaction lessons were illustrated in the JetBlue operational crisis example presented in this module? Specifically, how could using the model to predict Customer reactions to a planned crisis response be helpful for crisis leaders at the company? Choose all that apply.

  • A good way to soften the impact of crisis on Customers is to provide alternatives that produce outcomes as close as possible to the original plan and require very little, if any, additional Customer effort
  • A prediction model can help leaders think through ways to decrease the severity of the damage
  • Ultimately, while a prediction model might be a useful training tool, the fact that crises are such unique events significantly limits the utility of such models
  • It is critically important that organizations understand the interests of their stakeholders
  • It would be beneficial for an organization to proactively communicate with stakeholders, ahead of a crisis, if possible, to ‘soften’ their assessment of how the organization may fail to meet their expectations

Q9. Which of the following describe ways that a stakeholder reaction prediction model can crisis leaders more effectively develop optimum responses to potential crisis situations? Choose all that apply.

  • For certain types of crises, once the model has been used to predict likely stakeholder reactions, a collection of stakeholder communications can be created and set aside for use, if and when they could be helpful
  • Working through a number of crisis scenarios will illustrate steps that can be taken to influence stakeholder reactions at various points in the model
  • Using prediction models can help crisis leaders see why it is worth making investments in preventative measures
  • Working through scenarios proactively – and creating ways to mitigate stakeholder judgement – will provide an organization with a ready set of tools to effectively engage stakeholders when emotions are running high
  • Prediction models can help build a case for taking the time to educate stakeholders on the organization’s commitment to them and, should they exist, limitations on the organization’s ability to meet those commitments

Q10. Which of the following statements describe typical benefits of developing a Crisis Communication Plan (CCP)? Choose all that apply.

  • A crisis communication plan covers such information as how to reach various stakeholders and the creation of pre-crisis messages. It can also include reminders, in checklist form, of key actions that typically are taken during a crisis.
  • During a crisis, time should not be wasted finding needed background information, deciding who will do what, and trying to determine the sequence of events. A CCP helps to reduce response time by gathering these elements together beforehand.
  • A CCP creates a system that can save lives, reduce an organization’s exposure to risks, and permit remedial actions without embarrassment and scrutiny.
  • In addition to helping an organization respond to a crisis situation with greater speed, the CCP helps create an organized and efficient response.
  • The CCP is not intended to accomplish anything other than serving as a communication document that provides information about key points of contact should a crisis arise.

Week 3: End of Module 6 Knowledge Validation

Q1. Which of the following describe reasons presented in the course that High Stakes Leaders should take the time to develop a crisis typology for their organization? Choose all that apply.

The creation of a crisis typology is an activity best suited to development immediately after an organization has survived a crisis as the enterprise will be primed to accept the change

  • The creation of a crisis typology is a great way for a single High Stakes Leader to have an impact on an organization
  • With an understanding of how specific crisis types could impact various stakeholders; leaders should be able to more effectively focus relationship-building efforts on: Establishing sensing mechanisms for crisis-predicting and on setting expectations and developing channels for crisis-management feedback
  • Understanding the differences in various crisis situations should help us more effectively develop and execute an optimum, customized response for each scenario
  • Having a working knowledge of different types of crises – and some key characteristics of each — will help us more effectively understand how crises could impact the interests of each of our stakeholder groups

Q2. Which of the following statements were presented as ways that High Stakes Leaders might benefit from the process of developing and then having at the ready a custom-built crisis typology? Choose all that apply.

  • To demonstrate how difficult it can be to prevent crises without a dedicated and coordinated effort from the enterprise as a whole, or to effectively manage them, without some level of pre-crisis planning
  • To illustrate a broad range of potential crisis varieties and how each could create a unique set of challenges for an organization
  • It can help crisis leaders assess current crisis prevention practices
  • Even a simple typology is a tool that can inform an initial conversation with leaders at an organization on the topic of crisis readiness
  • Even the most basic of crisis response brainstorming can help leaders at an organization realize the value of crisis pre-planning and preparation

Q3. Which of the following characteristics of the crisis environment, described in the module, create unique challenges for crisis leaders? Choose all that apply.

  • Threats placed on stakeholder value propositions will call for, in the eyes of at least some stakeholders, urgent, sometimes continuous, attention.
  • The crisis environment will present a threat to one, or many, stakeholder’s value proposition.
  • There will always be a degree of uncertainty – perhaps a great deal – about the origin, the nature, and the potential consequences of the threat
  • As there will be great levels of crisis management expertise in every organization, new crisis leaders aren’t likely to be needed during the first organizational crisis that they encounter.
  • Crisis situations will escalate at different rates.

Q4. Which of the following statements illustrate the assertion that crises are typically the result of multiple contributing factors? Choose all that apply.

  • All organizations are facing growing levels of complexity. As complexity increases, early warning signals and subtle (maybe even not-so-subtle) vulnerabilities become more difficult to spot
  • Organizational complexity makes solution-finding exceptionally difficult, as root causes are harder to identify, the scale and scope of both problems and solutions are more challenging to define, and solution implementation may feel almost impossibly arduous
  • In most cases, there are many warning signs before – often well before – there is a full-scale crisis
  • About an equal number of crises occur as the result of a single, unpredictable root cause as there are crises produced by multiple contributing factors
  • Crises are almost always the result of multiple contributing factors, which interact over some period of time (sometimes very quickly and sometimes very slowly), and eventually produce a chain reaction that results in a catastrophic outcome

Q5. Complex systems make threat identification difficult for high stakes leaders. Which of the following statements illustrate the product(s) of increasing complexity in today’s organizational systems? Choose all that apply.

In many of today’s organizational systems, it is nearly impossible to understand the outcomes or products of the system simply by looking at the individual parts and understanding what they do

  • As the number of products and services produced by an organization grow, they become more challenging to organize and manage
  • As enterprises grow, the number of connections between and among its various stakeholders increases, making effective and consistent interactions more difficult to execute
  • As organizations grow, the leadership structure becomes more complex, making effective management a more complicated endeavor
  • Because the complex systems in today’s organizations are hard to understand, it is very difficult for high stakes leaders to easily see where a weakness in their complex business system might generate an issue that could eventually become a crisis

Q6. Which of the following were suggested in this module’s lesson as ways that leaders can reduce complexities in their organizations? Choose all that apply.

  • When looking to reduce complexity, don’t solve symptoms. Instead, identify and solve root causes
  • Remember that some managers are simply better at managing complexity than others
  • Slow the rate of technological advancement in the organization to a pace no faster than the enterprise can effectively manage
  • Look at complexity from all levels of the organization. Gathering feedback from all layers will help to identify improvement opportunities.
  • Limit the number of new products and services an organization takes to market in accordance with the organization’s ability to manage the additional complexity created by these new products and services

Q7. High Stakes Leaders are going to have to make urgent decisions with limited information. What examples were given in this week’s lesson of the types of decisions that will have to be made with limited information? Choose all that apply.

  • Decisions between two options, when either could be right or wrong
  • Decisions about whether or not the organization is actually in a crisis
  • Decisions about whether or not it’s time to make a decision – or if it would be better to wait for more and better information
  • Decisions about whether or not to call the crisis team into action
  • Decisions about how to deploy limited resources and how to interpret limited data

Q8. High Stakes Leaders must find ways to balance the urgency for making decisions and the tendency to wait for more facts and information. In the article written by M. S. Rao, a number of steps were suggested for making successful decisions with limited information. Which of the following were suggested by Dr. Rao? Choose all that apply.

  • Understand the issues from multiple perspectives
  • Discuss with your close connections to create appropriate alternatives
  • Choose the decision that is possible and feasible to execute with limited risk and maximum returns
  • Obtain feedback to improve your decisions in the future
  • Do not proceed with a decision until at least two alternatives can be identified

Q9. During a crisis, High Stakes Leaders will be faced with a demand for effective communication to multiple audiences. What factors were presented in the module that illustrate the challenges crisis leaders face while attempting to meet this demand? Choose all that apply? Choose all that apply.

  • During a crisis, there will simply be too many unique messages to send, to too many different interested parties, for a single crisis leader to effectively manage
  • Stakeholders have different value propositions with an organization, which means that each stakeholder may very well be interested in information that isn’t meaningful to other stakeholders
  • While general messages can be effective for communication early in a crisis, general messages don’t do much to acknowledge or address the interests of specific stakeholder groups
  • Stakeholders will be viewing a crisis situation from a different perspective
  • Stakeholders will always prefer to wait for face-to-face communication with organizational leaders over other methods of communication that might provide the information they need in a more timely fashion

Q10. There is no question that High Stakes Leaders will feel a sense of vulnerability while leading during a crisis. Which of the following was NOT shared during this module as a reason that individual vulnerability is completely normal in times of crisis?

  • Because the definition of quality has evolved from “perfect” to “constantly evolving to meet stakeholder needs, the notion of perfection is becoming less of an aspiration as businesses try to keep up with their constantly changing landscapes
  • Stakeholders aren’t expecting crisis leaders to be flawless, or perfect, or omniscient. Rather, they are expecting them to be visible, courageous, and committed to the best possible path forward
  • Dr. Brene Brown, in her book Dare to Lead, refers to “Vulnerability is a Leadership Weakness” as her first Myth of Vulnerability
  • Perhaps the most important aspect of leadership vulnerability is the critical importance of never admitting that you have made a mistake while leading a team through a crisis
  • Any CEO; any military veteran; anyone who is expected to perform under conditions that a high stakes leader is required to face during a crisis situation, will tell you that it is impossible to feel anything but vulnerable as you face challenging environments like these

Week 4: End of Module 8 Knowledge Validation

Q1. From the list below, select the eight roles that crisis leaders must be prepared to assume, based on the information shared in the course. As these were covered in detail across a number of activities, you should be able to identify them from a list. Choose all that apply.

  • Be ready to deal with the news media
  • Prioritize and set an example
  • Make decisions only when sufficient information is available
  • Establish and enforce standards and processes
  • Build relationships before the crisis
  • Promote open upward communication
  • Become the leader of the crisis management team
  • Encourage a proactive crisis culture
  • Encourage a learning environment and share experience
  • Properly assess the full range of risks

Q2. Which of the following were included in the list of characteristics a crisis leader should BE during a crisis?

  • Flawless. Stakeholders expect flawless execution from their crisis leaders
  • Visible. Stakeholders want to see them, in front of their teams, leading the response
  • Calm. Stress and fear produce anxiety in stakeholders. The most effective crisis leaders are able to remain calm, think clearly, and, through their composure, can help reduce stress and fear in others
  • Caring. The most effective crisis leaders are able to demonstrate a great sense of care and concern for all stakeholders
  • Empathetic. Not only must crisis leaders care for their stakeholders, they must recognize that some have lost, or will lose, a great deal, as a result of the catastrophe, and that their loss deserves acknowledgment and empathy
  • Assertive. Not only do stakeholders want to be able to see their crisis leaders, but they want to see them doing something, to be asserting themselves, and working toward a solution to the crisis
  • Omniscient. Stakeholders will expect crisis leaders to know everything there is to know about a crisis situation at all times

Q3. Which of the following were included in the list of items a crisis leader should KNOW during a crisis? Choose all that apply.

  • Guiding Principles. These can be used to facilitate the decision-making process during a crisis and will help stakeholders understand how and why decisions are being made
  • Organizational Values. Stakeholders will be looking for organizational leaders to “walk the talk”. This is best demonstrated through values-driven leadership
  • Root Cause(s) of the Crisis. Stakeholders want crisis leaders to know, as quickly as possible, all root causes of a crisis
  • Cost Estimates. It is critical that crisis leaders are able to quickly and accurately determine a cost estimate for the projected impact of a crisis
  • Organizational Vision. Crisis leaders should know, be able to articulate, and be able to align their crisis leadership efforts to the organization’s mission and vision

Q4. Which of the following were included in the list of items a crisis leader should DO during a crisis? Choose all that apply.

  • Never Reverse a Decision. As there will already be a great deal of stakeholder anxiety during a crisis, leaders should never reverse a decision once it has been made as this would create even more stress for stakeholders
  • Communicate. As a crisis leader, you should establish a communication plan, inform stakeholders of your plan, and become their primary source of learning about: your intentions, your actions, and the facts as they become available
  • Take Responsibility. When it is clear that the organization or a member of the organization is at fault in a crisis, the most effective crisis leaders communicate this reality to their stakeholders at the earliest opportunity
  • Engage Stakeholders. During a crisis, stakeholder engagement may be the most valuable and important action a crisis leader can take
  • Make Decisions with Limited Information. During a crisis, decisions will often be required before all of the facts are available

Q5. Which of the following were presented as typical Crisis Management Roles and Responsibilities?

  • Organizational Leaders. Typically leaders from these units are permanent members of the Crisis Management team: Finance, Legal, Human Resources, Public Affairs, Media/Corporate Communications, and a Head or a small number of Heads of operations for your primary business or businesses.
  • Crisis Manager. A very senior member of the organization with the experience, expertise, and full authority to make decisions and represent the best interests of the Company during a crisis
  • Crisis Management Team. This team is composed of leaders from every function within the organization and it is charged with actually directing the crisis response of the organization.
  • Crisis Leadership Team. A team of executives and senior managers who focus on issues that threaten the viability of the organization
  • Stakeholder Representatives. A Crisis Management team should include representatives from each stakeholder group if possible to provide advice and guidance on stakeholder interests

Q6. Which of the following were suggested in the module as ways that leaders can help their leadership team appreciate the value of developing pro-active crisis response strategies? Choose all that apply.

Develop and submit a healthy funding request to hire an external expert who can help the leadership team learn about the importance of crisis readiness.

  • Introduce your typology to the (new or previously existing) crisis management team, explain how you arrived at the list, make it clear that it’s not a finished product, but rather, simply a good place to start a conversation, then get their feedback on the contents of the typology.
  • A solid first step is asking the leadership team to talk about their confidence in the organization’s ability to deal with a crisis.
  • Share what you have learned about the value of quality stakeholder engagement throughout all the stages of a crisis, and get some feedback on the team’s alignment around the importance of this guiding principle.
  • Pick a scenario from your typology and ask the leadership team: “Ok, what will we do if this happens 30 days from now?”

Q7. High Stakes Leaders should regularly discuss the elements of the organization’s crisis management checklists with members of the crisis management team. What objectives were provided as preferred outcomes of such discussions? Choose all that apply.

  • To help the team begin to view crisis preparedness not as a burden, but as a critical necessity for the firm
  • To get members of the team thinking about the resources, capabilities, and expertise already in place to be able to deal with a crisis, and gaps that may exist in these areas
  • To help the team get comfortable working together
  • To test the checklists and add, subtract, or modify steps to be completed
  • To frequently remind enterprise leaders how unprepared they are for the inevitable crisis they will have to face

Q8. What lessons should High Stakes Leaders draw from this definition of a crisis: “A crisis is an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome”? Choose all that apply.

  • That there is a very high possibility the future won’t only be different, but that it will also be worse
  • That the situation at hand – the crisis – is going to create an environment that will not be pleasant for anyone involved
  • That there will be increasing concern about how the crisis will lead to change—about how things will be different in the wake of the catastrophe
  • That both inside and outside of the organization, there will be a growing sense of anxiety that has the potential to last for an extended period of time
  • That Stakeholders will want to know who has his/her/their hands on the wheel and is going to provide leadership

Q9. Which of the following are universal truths about stakeholder expectations during a crisis? Choose all that apply.

  • People will expect their leaders to be visible, courageous, and committed to the best possible path forward
  • People want and need leaders that they can believe in
  • People will look to leaders for tangible evidence of leadership
  • People will expect their leaders to be perfect
  • People will expect their leaders to be omniscient

Q10. Which of the following describe reasons that crises are no longer a question of “if” but “when” for High Stakes Leaders? Choose all that apply.

  • Business processes are accelerating and increasing in complexity
  • Businesses are accepting the idea of “fail fast, fail small, fail well” as a mechanism for innovation
  • Businesses are getting more comfortable with the idea of delivering products that are “good enough” as opposed to “perfect” into the market
  • Competitive pressures for first access to Customers are forcing businesses to rush offerings into the marketplace
  • The impact of the increasingly VUCA business environment
High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis Course Review:

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