Driven by the need to effectively manage crisis in tertiary institutions, a leading institute for higher education in the country, Executive Trainers Limited, has advocated for crisis leadership among stakeholders.
This was the crux of a virtual discourse organised by the institute and held recently.
With the theme: “Crisis Leadership in Higher Education”, the International Higher Education Discourse played host to eminent dignitaries drawn from the academia, with participants harping on effective crisis management in tertiary institutions.
In her welcome address, the Host and Chief Executive of the institute, Dr (Mrs) Ajoke Ogunsan, flagged off the discourse by unveiling the biography of the speaker, Professor Olusola Timothy Akinrinade.
In his in-depth presentation, Akinrinade charged all stakeholders in the academia to do more for their institutions, regardless of the mitigating challenges.
He began his delivery by explaining facts about crisis, the inevitability of crisis and the reality of the effects of improperly managed crisis on institutions.
“The fallouts and magnitude of a looming or impending crisis will depend on how the local chief executive handles it.
“Some crisis which are system induced are beyond one’s capacity. A perfect example is the protest on fuel price hike by students.
“However, what stands out is the leadership’s organisational strategy, response and recovery to contain and deescalate the crisis. This leader is the central point of focus by every follower for guide and support on the process to be taken to evade the looming chaos and restore the peace and sanity in that organisation,” he said.
The guest speaker further explained that during a crisis situation, a leader must deploy strategies to solve the problem and not wait for the problem to solve itself. He defined “crisis and its characteristics”, while explaining the fallouts and results.
According to him, “crisis are of two types — Routine and Novel. The novel type of crisis situation happens rarely and has highly devastating effects. Examples include ethnic/religious crisis, cultism and kidnapping of staff.
“I have my concerns on the patterns crisis situations are presented. They defy logical reasoning, every time they unfold. Crisis management will differ with the character of the institution.
“Crises are triggered by different factors; some unique to a particular institution while others are common to every institution.”
He expressed the government’s role in unintentionally contributing to factors that induce a crisis situation.
In his words, “Crisis leadership does not exclude employees as thought to be. It is an application of strategies deployed by both employees and managers to deal with an emergency situation. It will take both the leader and the led to deal with every chaotic situation when they arise.
“Local executive officers should never exacerbate already tense situations of an official order or memo on his subordinates.”
To conclude, Akinrinade reiterated “that leadership play a critical role in determining the direction an institution will take in the event of a crisis which could either abate or exacerbate the crisis. A properly managed crisis situation can help redefine an institution and guide its future development.”
Salient contributions were made by a former Vice chancellor of Bowen University, Professor Matthew Ojo; Vice Chamncellor, McPherson University, Professor Adebiyi Agunbiade; Vice chancellor of Osun State University Prof. Labode Popoola; Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Dr Dayo Oladebeye, among others.
Participants established that every organisation must encounter a crisis situation at one point or the other.
In his remarks, Vice Chancellor of McPherson University, Professor Adeniyi Agunbiade Vice, appreciated the exhaustive delivery of the facilitator. He gave an insight on a near crisis and how he was able to avert it.
Agunbiade stressed on CSR to surrounding community where the institution is domiciled.
According to him, “there should be an impact by institutions on host communities where these institutions are resident to reduce the possibility of friction with the community”
He, however, emphasized staff welfare to engender trust between the leader and the led.
Rector, Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, Dr. Dayo Oladebeye, congratulated Executive Trainers Limited on a successful delivery of the event.
He advocated for trust and transparency among all and sundry.
Perhaps a special highlight of the discourse was the session for reactions from dignitaries who took turns to comment on the subject matter.
The programme was rounded off with an announcement that certificates of attendance will be issued to all participants. A total of 65 participants were in attendance.