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Leadership During Covid-19: New Report on Trends and Outcomes from DRI International and Harvard National Preparedness Leadership Initiative

December 14, 2021 Leave a comment DRI Admin

Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRI), the leading nonprofit in business continuity and resilience training, has joined with Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) to develop a new report, “Covid-19: An Analysis of Leadership Styles and Outcomes.” This research uses the coronavirus pandemic to inform future preparedness and response efforts.

“For the resilience community and executive leadership across all industries, the pandemic has become the seminal challenge of their careers,” said Chloe Demrovsky, President and CEO of DRI International. “This report offers an insightful look at the extraordinary responses by leaders in the public and private sectors, and will provide a roadmap for navigating the next crisis, whatever form it may take.”

Researchers interviewed executives from a variety of industries – including aviation, energy, education, healthcare, manufacturing, engineering, technology and retail – to gain understanding of their “meta-leadership” capabilities, a holistic view leaders take on when managing complex crisis situations.

“We were delighted with the contributions from all participants – impressing the interview team with their frankness about things that had happened,” said Lyndon Bird, DRI Chief Knowledge Officer. “All the interviewees agreed that the process had added value to their understanding of the most challenging period of their professional lives. The interview team certainly learned a lot, some which surprised us and much which really inspired us.”

Among the key takeaways:

  1. Situational awareness is crucial – the better information you obtain quickly, the greater your ability to make the correct decisions early.
  2. Getting all stakeholders involved early in the response can be done with empathy, encouragement and recognition.
  3. Honestly, consistency, and strong corporate values are essential.
  4. Communication is vital to keep employees and stakeholders aware of what is happening and why.
  5. Business continuity specialists should be key players during a crisis.

The report is free for download from DRI’s library, and from NPLI.

Chloe Demrovsky (cdemrovsky@drii.org), Lyndon Bird (lbird@drii.org) and Eric McNulty (emcnulty@hsph.harvard.edu) are available for interviews.

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