Pushing your limits

Being a trainee really enables you to push your limits and constantly try out new things. Having a background in biotechnology (food and nutrition) I never would have guessed that I, half way through the graduate trainee program, would be responsible for arrangingbild and running a workshop in crisis management for one of our four sectors!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there is an overall strategic plan called “One working method” that is currently being implemented within the Agriculture sector (Lantbruk). The purpose is to describe how we work, in terms of processes, in order for the sector to become more process-oriented and unanimous. One important procedure, that has not yet been described, is that of how we manage crises within Lantbruk. My main focus at the moment is to work out this description.

When I first started, I considered a typical organizational crisis to be synonymous with emergencies such as severe fire or serious work-related accidents. This is off course true, yet I have learned that the term crisis comprises so much more than that. Anything from product related mishaps and customer disappointment, to rumors and communicational blunders have the potential of creating severe damage to a company. Each of these situations could be identified as a crisis and would then need to be handled accordingly.

Yesterday, I held a three hour workshop with representatives from some of Lantbruk’s management teams taking part. The purpose was to clarify and discuss some of the major uncertainties within the current crisis management procedure, that I have come across so far. I was nervous going into the meeting, not knowing exactly what to expect and certainly not what was expected of me. Who am I to stand here and talk about crisis management?

However, as the conversation got going and the involvement from the participants emerged, my worries faded. I realized how valuable it is to sometimes push your limits and realize that you do not necessarily need to be the expert to be able to arrange a discussion or point out ambiguities within a current system. Quite the contrary, sometimes it is probably more useful to receive an unbiased opinion from someone “on the outside”. As Jakob wrote in his last blog post, this is often what a trainee assignment is all about. To be a potential voice of change. It is an instructive role to play, and it forces you to push your limits.

The outcome of the workshop was great. I received many valuable ideas and pointers on how to unravel the key issues that had been brought up. Now, the next step for me is to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle and to finally complete the entire process description of how Lantbruk will manage crises in the future. Wish me luck!

Take care!

/  Malin Dahlström