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Risk Management in Times of Crisis: Insights and Strategies

In goodmorning bsn! by Business School Netherlands

We shone the spotlight on the indispensable topic of risk management during times of crisis, drawing upon the profound experiences of Dr. Károly Illy and Dr. Femi Omololu during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Their insights provide a rich foundation for understanding the dynamics of leadership and strategic planning in unforeseen emergencies.

Holistic Inclusion in Decision-Making
Dr. Károly’s journey within the Dutch Government Advisory Council on Corona highlighted a critical oversight in the early stages of the pandemic response: the absence of a paediatric perspective. His eventual inclusion underscores the necessity of holistic representation in crisis decision-making bodies. A diverse panel brings varied insights, ensuring that the needs and risks associated with all community segments are addressed. This approach not only broadens the scope of risk assessment but also enhances the effectiveness and acceptance of crisis management strategies.

Proactive Communication for Impactful Leadership
Károly’s engagement with the media and political figures exemplifies proactive communication’s role in crisis leadership. By leveraging his positions, he influenced public policy and awareness significantly. This teaches us that leaders must not only manage internal operations but also actively shape external narratives and policies. Effective communication with stakeholders, including the public and policymakers, can lead to more informed decisions and greater societal compliance with necessary measures.

What role does proactive communication play in crisis leadership?

Adapting to Evolving Circumstances
The pandemic underscored the necessity of adaptability in leadership. Károly’s experience showed that as new information emerged, strategies and decisions had to be reevaluated and adjusted accordingly. This adaptability—being open to change, ready to incorporate new data, and willing to shift strategies—proved essential for managing the crisis effectively. Leaders must remain flexible, using emerging information to guide their actions and decisions, ensuring that their responses remain relevant and effective as situations evolve.

Anticipating Change and Preparing for Impact
From Dr. Femi’s narrative, the significance of anticipating change and preparing accordingly was crystal clear. As the pandemic loomed, the proactive steps taken at Lagos Island Maternity Hospital were exemplary. By assessing potential risks and preparing for various scenarios, Femi demonstrated that foresight paired with action can mitigate adverse impacts. This approach enabled the hospital to continue its operations and safeguard both staff and patients, illustrating how preparedness can significantly reduce a crisis’s detrimental effects.

Building and Sustaining Engagement
Femi’s strategies for maintaining communication with staff and clients during the crisis were commendable. By establishing regular updates and support systems, he ensured that all parties remained informed, reassured, and engaged. This continuous flow of information and support helped alleviate fears, build trust, and maintain operational continuity. The lesson here is clear: sustained engagement and transparent communication are pillars of effective crisis management, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

Identifying and Leveraging Opportunities
The crisis brought unexpected opportunities, as illustrated by Femi’s experiences. The hospital’s adaptability in service delivery and innovation, like producing hand sanitizers and improving digital communication, highlights how crises can spur innovation and growth. Leaders should look beyond immediate challenges to identify opportunities that can lead to long-term benefits, whether in operational improvements, new business models, or enhanced community relations.
The session with Dr. Károly Illy and Dr. Femi Omololu provided invaluable lessons in managing risks and leading effectively during a crisis. These insights not only reinforce Business School Netherlands’ commitment to nurturing impactful leadership but also serve as a guide for current and aspiring leaders facing uncertain times. Embracing holistic inclusion, proactive communication, adaptability, foresight, engagement, and the ability to identify opportunities are all crucial elements in navigating the complex landscape of crisis management.

Reflect, Engage, and Lead: Your Next Steps
We invite you to reflect on your own leadership journey. How have you managed risk and led through crises? What strategies from today’s discussion can you integrate into your leadership approach to navigate future challenges?

But don’t let your engagement end here. Continue the conversation, apply these insights, and join us for more enriching discussions. We encourage you to sign up for the next Goodmorning BSN session, where we delve deeper into leadership challenges and solutions that matter to you and your organisation.

Your journey towards impactful leadership in times of crisis begins today. Take this opportunity to learn, grow, and lead with confidence. Join us at BSN — where leaders are made, and where you can make a difference.
Join the next Goodmorning BSN session and be part of a community that’s shaping the future of leadership.

Dr. Károly Illy is a former paediatrician from the Rivierenland Hospital in the Netherlands and has been appointed as the director of the Lung Foundation Netherlands (Longfonds). With nearly 30 years in paediatrics, he has contributed significantly to the field, especially in lung diseases, diabetes, and ADHD. He has also served as the President of the Dutch Paediatric Society and notably served on the Dutch Government Advisory Council on Corona, providing expert advice during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Femi Omololu is a highly experienced obstetrician and gynaecologist based in Lagos Island, Nigeria. He is known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in women’s health, particularly in the areas of pregnancy, childbirth, and gynaecological services.

Business School Netherlands


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