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Sunday, 12 August 2007

Damage Control - Understanding Damage Control

I believe not everyone is familiar with the terms “Damage Control”. The terms usually will be used by the military personnel in emergency control situations impending catastrophic disasters and military losses. But such an act also is used in explaining management style of actions or conducts that needed to deal with any problems that transpire heading towards calamity or disaster.

Dealing with crisis that occurs, ones cannot run away from facing tough challenges or painstaking problems. In not letting the problems or crisis to turn into a disaster or calamity, there is an act that should be taken before the situations turned irreparable. The act more often than not is taken by single leader. A leader which is professional, motivated, courageous, optimistic and steadfast enough to take the first move in handling the crisis occurs. If ones do not have such traits mentioned, then a disaster in the future is much certain to happen.

In human history either it is in war, natural disaster, or accidents, we always ignored of the management terms such as damage control. The necessity to take the steps in preventing further fall out is being overlooked by the fear that incites within the mankind in facing the crisis. As was explained by Tun Dr. Mahathir once, usually in searching for a way out on certain problems, mankind always being diverted by their own fear and end up in give details about the reason why the crisis struck. They will keep on reminiscing on who was in charge and what are to blame thus forfeiting the controlling factor that will stem the problems turning from bad to worse.

One way in applying damage control is to believe that the crisis struck can be contained through certain measures. The methods should be taken with utmost care and high-speed decisions. The should not be any revocable decisions making process thus such an act will only jeopardize the outcome of the crisis. Executing a damage control operation ones involved had to be very professional. Personal or certain group interest should be avoided and concentration should only be given to the outcome of the process.

Courage is the most important factor in executing damage controls method. That’s why one of the most important traits a leader should have is courage under fire. In executing damage controls order or methods, the decision of an action is only rest upon a leader. Courageous enough to be optimistic that the crisis could be contained or courageous enough in executing damage controls while “under fire” is certainly what damage control is all about.

But ones should not misunderstand that executing damage control is different from solving a crisis. Damage control is a method in stemming the problems or crisis from turning worse and is a temporary action before reorganize or rebuilding. It comes before executing crisis solving methods. Damage controls will differentiate between losses or victory, or in other words between total failure and winning. It is the pivotal or wherewithal effects in dealing or facing a crisis.

The main actors or motivator in pushing for damage control is a leader. Back up by his devout or loyal comrades/ workers, then damage control could be executed. Damage control should be put to effect in fast-speed mode so that it can save enough what was left to be used in the future or for future gain. It is important that a leader should be able to recognize that a crisis had occurred and steps should be taken in controlling the damage. One of the classic examples of steadfast mode in performing damage control is by Tun Dr. Mahathir in dealing with the 1997 financial crisis by implementing the rigid monetary regimes before understanding what truly happened and causing the 1997 financial meltdown.

In military examples, Winston Churchill executing damage control by using RAF pilots fighting the Luftwaffe over British skies in Battle of Britain. Simple orders or simple endeavour can be considered a damage control when it came at the right moment needed to contain the situation turning from bad to worse. We might encounter numerous problems in our daily life that needed damage control. Sometimes the upcoming crisis is never happened due to our simpleton in performing damage controls.

In fighting a disease, health department used the damage control buttons on quarantine before research could be to determine certain cause of effects and before launching a problem solving schemes.

In other views, damage control is a technique for a leader to study or examine why such a crisis occurred when facing such a difficulties that was unconventional to the daily life.

To be continue…

P/s: I would like thank my KSU for teaching me about Damage Control so that I could share with you all.


Ramli AR said...

12 Ramadan 1428

Good write up. Which department you said you are working for?

Ramli AR

Tun Teddy said...


Thanks for ur comment. I works at the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs or popularly known as KPDNHEP. That article is a tribute to my KSU, a very good manager. I didn't say it because he is my current boss, but because he is very good manager.

One ot two things we can learn from each other.


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