crisis management

Stanislav Petrov – The Man who Saved the World

Without you knowing about it, Stanislav Petrov has been a part of your life. He has saved the world as we know it by the decisions he made all the way back in 1983. On 26th September, 1983, Petrov was the duty officer at the command-center for a nuclear early warning system near Moscow in Soviet Union. That night, he faced one of the biggest decisions of the 20th century – a decision that could have precipitated an inevitable chain-reaction of events to culminate into the destruction of the whole world. Hard to get what this means into our gut and that is part of our collective challenge – but that’s beside the point. How did a low-ranked duty-officer come to bear such a huge responsibility? After all, we expect this to come to the desks of country leaders & top generals.  And what made it such an agonising decision? In the eighties, the then superpowers, the United States & Soviet Union, were in a state of MAD ( Mutually Assured Destruction) This is even now the case. MAD means both superpowers had enough…

Waking Up before a Crisis : What Every Citizen Can Learn from the Chennai Floods

Chennai is flooded with water. Chennai is also flooded with warmth. People are reaching out and helping each other. A crisis brings us together. Together, there need not be a crisis. If we pull together beforehand, we can prevent a crisis or limit the damage.Provided we think, plan, and do the right things. What are they? One by One. Thinking : Thinking what?  A good start would be to clear our minds. Get this : “Nobody ever gets credit for fixing problems that never happened” Would you agree? There is no fame and glory waiting for us. No distractions. Clarity of purpose. We do it for ourselves. Next, ask, ” In what way are we contributing to the problem?” Yes, we must think that! The problem begins in how we perceive our role as citizens in governance.We believe that casting a vote is the only thing to do. Who cares about things going wrong in between elections? We patiently await the next polls. Meanwhile, vested interests continue causing irreversible damage to our habitats. They pass laws and undertake actions, all of them leading to polluting…