The right approach can turn times of crisis into times of growth

September 14, 2020

Writing in Harvard Business Review, Michigan Ross Professors Sue Ashford, Maxim Sytch, and Lindy Greer detail specific strategies for successful teams.

Difficult challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic often present valuable opportunities for personal and team growth, according to Michigan Ross Professors Sue Ashford, Maxim Sytch, and Lindy Greer.

In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, they explain six specific ways that leaders can encourage growth during a crisis, including being patient; sending the right signals, ones that promote risk taking in the service of learning; and resetting expectations around the giving and receiving of feedback. Teams that use these strategies can emerge from a crisis stronger than ever, they argue.

“As teams are forced to take on new challenges, face new uncertainties, and recover from mistakes in the COVID-19 era, they begin to internalize that both their own abilities and those of their peers are not fixed, but rather can be developed,” the authors write. “This growth mindset can serve us — and our teams — well during this crisis.”

Sue Ashford is the Michael & Susan Jandernoa Professor of Management and Organizations and chair of management and organizations; Maxim Sytch is an associate professor of management and organizations; Lindy Greer is an associate professor of management and organizations, faculty director of the Sanger Leadership Center, and a Michael R. and Mary Kay Hallman Fellow; at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. [Both Ashford and Greer are also Faculty Associates of the Center for Positive Organizations.]

This original article was published as a Ross Thought in Action article.