There are good sides to Crisis – after all, it’s all those little crises that force you to take stock of what’s actually happening giving you an opportunity to make changes going forward. 

The key word of course being OPPORTUNITY!

In my experience, it’s exactly during those early signs of crisis management when the client needs to act.  So what are the impending signs of Crisis?


#1 –  SUCCESS!! 


Being successful, you’ve probably reached some of the following milestones:

  • proven the value of your product or service,

  • increased your market share

  • dramatically increased sales

  • landed your first HUGE client

  • become profitable for the first time

  • hit a record number of new clients, and/or

  • needed to rapidly add new staff

So, first bask in your success!  Take the time to celebrate companywide; recognize all the effort that has gone into it; acknowledge the  unique strengths you and the company have; and enjoy!  And then pay attention. . .

A young girl lets the blast of air from a balloon mess up her hair.

Success is like a balloon – you can only blow it up so far before it pops. 

As pressure increases, the balloon wall visibly weakens, the color gets lighter where the wall thins, a mini bubble pops out at the weak point … all which leads to the second sign of crisis …



As demand increases, and the air begins to overfill “your balloon,”  little things start to happen:

  • a communication breakdown causes a mistake

  • a process hiccup occurs

  • a system breaks down due to overuse

  • a spike in quality concerns crops up

  • a delivery date is missed

  • a longtime, loyal customer makes a complaint

  • managers/employees start losing patience with each other – regularly


Threatening, yes, but contrary to first glance they are also extremely helpful!  Without these forewarnings you wouldn’t have the “intel” to know about these weaknesses.

And of course it is critical that you seize these opportunities to act now!

Don’t wait until the balloon pops  – start capitalizing NOW on your success by seizing all the opportunities presenting themselves in your company!


Sue Lankton-Rivas is an organizational development expert who specializes in helping business leaders of small and mid-sized companies seize the opportunities to eliminate the destructive side of crisis in their organizations before it’s too late!


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