Best Practice

Handling crisis and change: Lessons from Apollo 13

Handling crisis and significant change can be incredibly stressful and typically happens in stages. Drawing on change-management theory and the infamous Apollo 13 mission, Jez Bennett looks at how we might handle the coronavirus emergency

During my permitted “once a day” exercise/dog walk, I have been enjoying listening to the BBC World Service’s 13 Minutes to the Moon podcast, written by Kevin Fong and Andrew Luck-Baker and presented by Kevin Fong.

The current (second) series describes the Apollo 13 mission, in which the astronauts and their mission control team battled to cope with the catastrophic aftermath of an explosion in a fuel cell which ended their hopes of a lunar landing and gave them a very slim chance of returning home safely.

Apollo is a timely focus in the current climate. In Greek mythology, Apollo was the god of light, knowledge, music, poetry and healing. Among other qualities, he is strongly associated with the health and education of children.

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