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The Lifecycle of a Crisis

With Houston’s sprawl submerged under its third “500-year flood” since 2015, Texas governor Greg Abbott predicted years of recovery and “a new and different normal for the entire region.”

“Crisis has a lifecycle,” noted a white paper from Deloitte, “and so does crisis management.” The most heroic actions often happen on a sunny day in a conference room, long before any crisis, as responsibilities and redundancies are established in scenario planning sessions. And the hard work of dealing with impacts from natural disasters persists long after the public’s attention has moved elsewhere.

But the best-laid plans don’t always lead to the intended result. Michael Grunwald, writing in Politco, points out that the National Flood Insurance Program was created in 1968 to discourage building in flood-prone areas. Powerful lobbying morphed it into an expensive subsidy that underwrites actuarily-unviable development despite decades of warnings from researchers.

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Contributors


Jeffrey E. Garten
Dean Emeritus

Joel M. Podolny
Dean and William S. Beinecke Professor of Management, Yale School of Management

Terri Long
Cofounder and Co-CEO, Harvest Earnings

Professor Olav Sorenson
Olav Sorenson
Frederick Frank '54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management

Phil Ventimiglia
Chief Innovation Officer, Georgia State University

Professor Peter Schott
Peter K. Schott
Juan Trippe Professor of International Economics

K. Geert Rouwenhorst
Robert B. and Candice J. Haas Professor of Corporate Finance & Deputy Director of the International Center for Finance

John Shrewsberry
President, Wells Fargo Securities

Kevin D. Gray
Lecturer in the Practice of Management

John Lichtenstein
Managing Director, Global Metals, Accenture