I’m behind my self-imposed schedule. This post isn’t going to help that along. But, as I sit in the other half’s book room and look at the fact I just finished a section, I decide I need a break from typing/thinking/doing. So I’m posting instead.
To explain, the dissertation does not need to be handed in until the end of December (or is it January?), but I kind of wanted it done by October. That won’t be the case now, since I will have to allow around a month from when the survey is first sent out until I close it down. I’m going to send it to various friends and colleagues but also post it on a number of specialist groups on LinkedIn, and aiming for around 1000 responses. Hmm, I wonder if that’s wishful thinking but we can only try and see. I reckon the questionnaire – based on the lit review that is so nearly (and yet so far from) drafted – will be finished by next week which is useful, as I can trial it with some helpful people.
But the point of this post is to say I’m not in the section where I’m basically listing four things I think make life difficult and exploring academic theory to back up my hypothesis. Bizarrely this is new ground for me. Usually I just read and see where it takes me, following up where necessary. But now I have not enough words to say what I need to say, and if I’ve got to be selective then choosing what the key points are for myself means -a- I narrow the field down immediately to a few points, -b- I get to do the bits that interest me, and -b- it all takes less time. So here’s hoping I get away with it! It’s not like I’m not getting the points from quite a lot of experience (because I am) but it’s still new.
Anyway, I have four books that I’m skim reading again for this section. My favourite is Better Under Pressure by organisational psychologist Justin Menkes. He keeps saying all the things I want to say, but he has proof they are true which is entirely helpful! The others are The Politics of Crisis Management: Public Leadership Under Pressure (Boin, Hart, Stern and Sundelius) which I’m hoping helps me with exactly what it says in the title, and then two I keep meaning to get to again but – to be honest – simply haven’t gotten around to until now: Mission Improbable: Using Fantasy Documents to Tame Disaster by Lee Clarke and Flirting with Disaster by Marc Gerstein.
Anyway, if you have any blinding insights on why leaders find resilience issues difficult, do feel free to message me. As for my argument… well it’s 6000 words long so far but basically I’m arguing that, as you know, managing uncertainty is very difficult and there are no magic answers that don’t involve judgement decisions at the very top. Hmmm, hows that for condensation of many, many words into one sentence.
It’s almost a shame the next section is about “what to do about it”….