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White Swan: How transparency and empathy can help guide your team through crises

White Swan: How transparency and empathy can help guide your team through crises

A crisis can come in many forms. But whatever it looks like, one thing is certain: businesses need to be prepared. White Swan: The Crisis Podcast showcases host Gavin Megaw and guest Gary Cleland, both of Hanover Communications, our sister company in the United Kingdom, and Karen White of our Halifax office to talk with a special guest to look at crises from all angles to explain how senior business leaders stay on top of things during those tense, headline-making moments.

Each episode of White Swan features an in-depth conversation with a senior figure from the world of business, who tells us about their crisis experiences and gives you the lessons you need to hear.

On episode 10, we hear from Jo-Anne Poirier, CEO of VON Canada, an organization that has provided home and community care to more than 10,000 people throughout Canada for more than 120 years. VON has faced an array of crises that could have seen off a lesser-prepared organization in the last few years—from a financial restructuring, through COVID-19, to a ransomware attack and even a mass shooting.

Jo-Anne tells us how her motto in a crisis is to “stay calm and stay steady”. She tells us about how she has projected this calmness into her organization, and how this has helped VON get through a difficult period. The assumption that the top of the organization should act like everything is fine at all times has changed, driven partly by Covid. More organizations now are looking for a transparent and empathetic—and above all, honest—leader to drive them forward. Jo-Anne embodies this, and this podcast gives a unique look at how she has used these principles to guide VON through all that the last couple of years has thrown at them.