How to survive in wartime?

09 September 2022

It is gradually becoming clear that the current crisis has many faces and will not be over tomorrow. The question then arises how we can live and, above all, survive with a crisis of this unprecedented magnitude. In my book 'The Immortal Enterprise' I indicate how companies and their brands can stay on top of a crisis. But the principles apply to each of us personally. It is mainly a matter of adapting and still staying true to oneself. That seems like a paradox, but it doesn't have to be.

I empirically tested the formula for surviving in times of crisis in "The Immortal Enterprise" and summarized it in the so-called AGIL paradigm. They are 4 functions that you must fulfill in order to survive in the short and long term through turbulent times, crises, and even wars.
Adapt (A)
Only those who adapt to a rapidly changing environment will survive. This is more true than ever in wartime. This crisis with many faces will not be over tomorrow, and will also give our way of living and working lasting direction in the longer term. Anxiously waiting for the storm to pass is not an option. It's a towering boutade, but every crisis also offers an opportunity. Seize the opportunity. Right away.
Goal attainment (G)
The worst thing you can do in a crisis is panic and start beating around you wildly. The way out of a crisis must also be based on clear, measurable objectives in the short and medium term. Even though flexibility, pragmatism and agility are good companions, only those who have set clear – and above all realistic and achievable – goals and stay on track will eventually reach the finish line. A crisis is above all a victory over yourself.
Integration (I)
A crisis – and certainly a war – are the ultimate moments of truth. At a time when tensions are reaching a boiling point, it remains more necessary than ever to strengthen ties with all those who you are close and sweet. This also applies to organizations and companies in relation to their employees, partners and of course customers. In a crisis, you only discover who your real friends are who you can count on, unconditionally. It creates bonds for the rest of your life. By working together, the whole becomes larger than the sometimes of the individual parts.

Latent pattern maintenance (L)
Also in a crisis, it is essential to remain yourself, true to your values and culture, without denying your past. Consistency and coherence are indispensable. Flat opportunism may offer some solace in the very short term, but chameleon behavior causes alienation and infidelity.

Only those who perform these 4 functions will survive. It will very often give rise to mutual tensions and making trade-offs and choices. The way out of a crisis is ultimately a matter of finding a progressive balance between changing and still remaining yourself. Make the right choices.