Navigating Through Turbulent Times: A Guide To Effective Business Management in Wartime Pt. 1 by Dmytro Kucher


While management training experts and guides often discuss crisis management best practices and the importance of calculating the risks, it is crucial to recognize that war presents unique challenges, distinct from typical crises or unforeseen events mentioned in contracts.

Navigating through the complexities of wartime management is an entirely different endeavor. In such circumstances, long-term planning takes a backseat, and the ability to make prompt decisions becomes paramount. Team dynamics are also transformed, as individual team members face their own distinct challenges, relying on management for support.

During periods of instability, it is crucial for managers to remain composed, maintain a clear vision of the company’s goals and objectives, and consistently communicate updates to the team. Establishing an efficient process is a unique endeavor that depends on the specifics of your business. However, there are some fundamental principles that should be considered. In this article, I will share the steps that have helped our company to operate smoothly and fulfill commitments with minimal disruptions.

Teamwork Dynamics: Factors Impacting Teamwork in Times of Peace and War

Typically, work conditions are influenced by external factors such as market dynamics, economic trends, and the state of the business niche. However, internal processes also play a significant role, including remote work arrangements, client demand for new technical expertise and skills, and more. Additionally, the chronic stress experienced by Ukrainians over the past 1.5 years has further contributed to the complexity of the situation.

There is a commonly held belief that crises and wartime conditions create unique contexts for conducting business, considering their psychological impact. Consequently, it’s often assumed that team management approaches should be adapted accordingly. However, based on our extensive experience, we found that this perspective does not necessarily hold true.

Wartime company management incorporates standard crisis management practices, but with one crucial difference: it requires a broader scope of planning and heightened attention to the team’s interests and well-being. Drawing from my previous experience in crisis management, I have primarily dealt with transforming businesses during periods of market volatility and resource scarcity. In order to stabilize the company, I focused on making economically viable decisions and prioritized measurable and achievable business goals in collaboration with my team.

Even as the war rages outside our windows, the fundamental principles of effective management still hold true. However, the priorities and focus shift significantly. In such challenging times, the well-being and welfare of our team, partners, and clients take precedence and surpass our business interests. Those circumstances emphasize the value of being a compassionate and ethical individual rather than solely an efficient manager.

While navigating the constraints of limited business resources, it is vital to incorporate this factor when planning for structural changes. A prime example was observed during the initial stage of the war when we faced challenges in maintaining our usual uninterrupted provision of services and product delivery to clients. As a result, we made the decision to temporarily
pause most of our production processes, redirecting our focus toward creating safe working environments for all colleagues

The company made it a top priority to ensure safe navigation routes for colleagues evacuating by car and arranged for rented buses to assist others in their evacuation. Additionally, we provided free accommodation in Lviv, ensuring our teammates could easily and quickly get to safety and comfort. After addressing the immediate concerns regarding physical safety, our focus shifted towards helping the team to resume business operations. Colleagues who decided to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine retained their entire contractual earnings.

Simultaneously, we acknowledged our responsibilities towards our partners and warned them about potential delivery delays. I am pleased to share that we received understanding and support from all our clients. In times of chaos, like war, upholding our reputation became crucial, highlighting the importance of standing by our team and partners.

Please find Part 2 here.


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