Crises and Turnaround Management: Lessons Learned from Recovery of New Orleans and Tulane University Following Hurricane Katrina

Abstract

By their very nature both man-made and natural disasters are unpredictable, and so we recommend that all health-care institutions be prepared. In this paper, the authors describe and make a number of recommendations, regarding the importance of crisis and turnaround management using as a model the New Orleans public health system and Tulane University Medical School post-Hurricane Katrina. Leadership skills, articulation of vision, nimble decision making, and teamwork are all crucial elements of a successful recovery from disaster. The leadership team demonstrated courage, integrity, entrepreneurship, and vision. As a result, it led to a different approach to public health and the introduction of new and innovative medical education and research programs.

In the Dean’s initial message to the Tulane community, he wanted to give a sense of purpose and pride and to encourage entrepreneurship. The key points he made were:

  • We will help to build a different health-care system, not rebuild.
  • The time to act is now. No more consultants or “strategic planning.”
  • Turn adversity into opportunity.
  • The door to the Dean’s office is always open. All are welcome to come to discuss problems with their recommended solutions.
LESSONS LEARNED

Sometimes it takes a disaster to remove silos and create a new vision. Based on our experience, the following are our key recommendations:

  1. Understand the culture:
  2. Build a strong leadership team:
  3. Have a recovery plan, but be prepared to adapt based on local conditions:
  4. Vision alone is insufficient:
  5. Manage post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
  6. Lead by example.

Read in full at Source: Crises and Turnaround Management: Lessons Learned from Recovery of New Orleans and Tulane University Following Hurricane Katrina

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