Institutional Response to Crisis

The Institutional Response to Crisis panel focuses on analyzing and understanding institutions and the crises they might face, more specifically the limits and opportunities for preparing for a crisis, responding to crises, and the long-term consequences of crises. The panelists provide both theoretical analyses and specific, personal experiences to discuss these points.

As panel moderator Noah Pickus, the director of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University stated in his opening: "Crises are no rare thing in human history and it seems as if of late we turn around everyday and there's another one that stares us in the face."

Questions/themes/discussion topics
  • Should institutions respond to crises?
  • How do institutions respond to crises?
  • Response to crisis as a springboard for long term change within an institution
  • Leadership opportunities within a crisis


Panel Video

"One thing that makes a crisis a crisis is that it's an unprecedented, low probability, high impact event that few people could imagine occurring to their organization."

- Judith Clair

"There is also the tension between being confident and strong as a leader and also being vulnerable and open."

- Ron Dufresne

"News flash. It's always complicated. You never have enough information. You have to make the decisions often in the middle of the night. We exist in 24-hour news cycles. You have to make it on their calendar. ... And that means in a crisis, which is nothing more than accelerated decision-making in a fishbowl and the whole world is watching it, we have to be able to trust the team we're with and be able to make decisions instantly."

"There are two roles in every Shakespearean tragedy, hero and antihero. Those are the only two roles available to you in a crisis, hero and antihero. Who do you want to be?"

- Richard S. Levick

"We saw how any division on this issue, any voices that were contrary to the central theme, could destroy us absolutely if there was any mixed message. And we saw a chance, which was realized, to turn what was a negative for us into a positive."

- Craig A. Masback