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Sustainable policy #51

Crisis preparedness (Chen)

Metaphors: Thunderbolts / Inspiring shock / Creative disturbance / Arousal / Shake up


Social In order to fulfil a leadership role, a sustainable policy cycle should be capable of accepting any external shock and recognizing the nature of the response required by it.

Sub-conditions:

1. The relief experienced following a shock may place the sustainable policy cycle at an advantage compared to others who did not experience it. (Resulting in: Enthusiasm).

2. If the sustainable policy cycle is endangered as a result of severe shock, it should withdraw until the crisis is over rather than acting vainly to recover its losses before the appropriate opportunity. (Resulting in: Elective affinity).

3. The sustainable policy cycle is liable to be overwhelmed by an external shock unless it can learn from it and respond to the opportunities it presents. (Resulting in: Prosperity).

4. The response of the sustainable policy cycle will be dangerously handicapped if the shock offers no opportunity for it to act. (Resulting in: Recovery).

5. In the event of a multiplicity of shocks, the sustainable policy cycle can best survive by moving with the flow of events. (Resulting in: Following).

6. If the shock is confusing others, so that they are unable to respond effectively, the sustainable policy cycle can best prepare to respond by withdrawing from the situation, even though this may invite disapproval. (Resulting in: Decisive action).

Transformation sequence Crises cannot continue to emerge if inaction is cultivated. (Resulting in: Inaction).


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Earlier version in 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986).

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