The focus areas were basically designed to help us find our way through a great disruption, and now we find ourselves in one with a worldwide pandemic, and the abysmal reaction to it in the US.

To get much of anything done -- large or small -- it can help to have a plan.  It doesn't have to be specific to the unfolding crisis.  A plan can be for anything that you need or want to make happen.

In this moment, a plan might be as simple as writing out your grocery list on a rough floorplan of the store you're headed to and where everything is, so you can be in and out of there more efficiently.  Except for, of course, some time standing to the side waiting for the potential disease spread vectors wandering about recklessly without masks on to get out of the aisle you need to enter.

For a bigger plan, we'll use a wildfire for an example.

Let's say you have a medium-to-large wildfire threatening a bunch of stuff.  You need objectives and goals to start (for any plan, it can help to be intentional and purposeful), and then you get risk information and situation and resource status information to inform your strategy and tactics.

Objectives on such a wildfire might go like this:  1) protect life and property, 2) contain fire, 3) protect nursing home on east flank, 4) keep fire from reaching high-tension electrical power lines that feed the Port of Long Beach.

You would design a strategy to meet those objectives, and tactics that support the strategy.

Then you execute.

Here's the thing:  execution of the plan may not be 100% in alignment with it - because your situation, resources, and risk will change while you're executing the plan.  So you have to think strategically and tactically on the fly to change your actions.  However, with a comprehensive approach like this - you keep your objectives in mind even as you adjust.

At some point, you can also iterate, and update the plan.  It's not usually efficient to do plan updates constantly - because the point of the plan is to help the execution; the action.  Yet it does help to step back from all the execution action from time to time to update the plan, especially to account for a changing situation, changing resources, and changing risk.

In incident management, plans are formally changed every operational period - which in wildfire is typically every 12 hours.  There's something called a "Planning P" which you can google that is a framework for this.

Project management planning is not much different than big disasters - because planning is planning.  Critical thinking and problem-solving are essential, too.

We do coaching and consulting to help with all of this.  There are ways through.  Again, the focus areas were designed to help with exactly this kind of moment.  Blog posts and resources below touch on planning as well.

BOOK: Originals, by Adam Grant

"Originals:  How Non-Conformists Move the World," by Adam Grant.  From the book jacket, "Using surprising studies and stories spanning the worlds of business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant debunks the common belief that successful non-conformists are born leaders who boldly embrace risk.  Originals explains now anyone can spot opportunities for change, recognize a good idea, overcome anxiety and ambivalence, and make suggestions without being silenced."

BOOK: The Big Pivot, by Andrew S. Winston

"The Big Pivot:  Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World," by Andrew S. Winston.  See video also at:

BOOK: The Great Disruption, by Paul Gilding

"The Great Disruption:  Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World," by Paul Gilding.  This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint.  From the author's website:  "It’s time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding.  We need instead to brace for impact because global crisis is no longer avoidable.  This Great Disruption started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological changes, such as the melting ice caps.  It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints.  We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1.0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet’s ecosystems and resources.  The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces-yet also a deeply optimistic message.  The coming decades will see loss, suffering, and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid; however, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer:  compassion, innovation, resilience, and adaptability."

Heroic Improv

"We all have a hero inside of us. When a catastrophe strikes, our heroes are called upon. In the heroic improvisation practice, we practice how to be ready to put on our proverbial capes and fly. Disaster preparation training might not like sound fun... knowing how to act heroically with others is the key. What determines success when catastrophe strikes is our ability to listen, trust and act together... Potential danger requires us to know the plan of action, and chaos requires us to improvise responses to execute it. The heroic improvisation workshop puts us in a chaotic situation and gives us the felt-sense of moving into action together in a high stakes situation."

MOVIE: The Lego Movie

I was not expecting this to be probably the most profound movie I've ever seen - well beyond something like Star Wars (all eight) meets The Matrix (the first one).  Also hilarious.  Awesome #Team stuff.  Here's a link to the official trailer for this movie.

This is an anchorpoint for the time that is now.  This story follows the classic Hero's Journey.  No spoilers, but this is the key to what we need. 

Myth is a powerful tool, and this movies serves as an incredibly powerful myth, parable, inspiration, and model for our time.  It is unexpectedly good, and powerful on many levels... the family elements, parenting, the spiritual, life itself, the power of teamwork, leveraging creativity, vision, dreaming, realizing, and the challenge and way forward for effective problem-solving, at scale.  And of course, "Everything is Awesome."

If there was one movie that represents where we can go and who we can be in this amazing time of challenge - this is it.  This is how we navigate disruption, find a way forward, and counterfear.  Who would have thought?

Seth Godin's Blog

Seth's Blog is an excellent resource for wisdom, inspiration, vision, motivation, and follow-through.  It is also a great resource for further resources.  Very worth receiving in a daily email or RSS feed.

VIDEO: Realm of Your Highest Impact & Risk - TEDx

"Quad4: Realm of Your Highest Impact and Highest Risk:" Chris McGoff at TEDxRockCreekPark.  This is a Counterfear Anchorpoint, because it is a rare, short look at what we need to do to solve wicked problems.  Also check out Chris McGoff's website and book "The PRIMES," another posted Counterfear resource.  The website has videos and a summary of each of the PRIMES.

VIDEO: The Big Pivot, based on book by same name

Video on "The Big Pivot - Whiteboard Animation," 3:12 min.  Based on book by the same name, by Andrew Winston:

VIDEO: The Tribes We Lead - Seth Godin

This TED talk by Seth Godin is one of the classics.  From the video summary:  In The Tribes We Lead, "Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so."  Check out Seth's Godin's blog here; it's the only blog I read daily (also posted as a resource).