Chapter 4 Reflections on the response to COVID-19: considerations for managers and leaders
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COVID-19 has put decision-makers under a hard test and most responses to the pandemic were criticised as being ineffective and counterproductive. Still, we see few reflections and alternatives to the decision-making approach. This chapter addresses this issue using three discussion points. The first discusses why COVID-19 is unique and proposes a response and recovery framework that promotes organisational and social resilience. The second distinguishes between managing from leading a crisis response. It argues that most leaders have been managing not leading on the COVID situation, which resulted in short and long-term repercussions. The third discusses how leaders should analyse, decide, and operate in complex and highly uncertain environments like COVID. In particular, the consideration of practising public leadership that involves or considers the society in the decision-making process. The chapter utilises principles of Systems Thinking and change management along with lessons collected from international responses to COVID-19 since March 2020.

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