When we were getting ready for our son to be born, we went to a series of classes to help us prepare for this life changing moment. We covered the usual things like feeding, bathing and changing nappies.

During one session we went through the birthing process and the person giving the talk gave us a model to use with Doctors if for some reason things weren’t going to plan. I liked the model so much I decided to use it in my working life too…

The model is a series of questions and, like most great models, it is based on an acronym – EBRAN, which stands for….

E – Is it an EMERGENCY?

B – What are the BENEFITS of the suggested actions?

R – What are the RISKS?

A – Are there any ALTERNATIVE actions we could take?

N – What happens if we do NOTHING?

When things go wrong the natural reaction is either to freeze or go into a frenzy of actions to fight our way out of the situation. As leaders, our role is to think strategically about the issue and what it means against the wider business context. When everyone else is losing their heads, we need to step back and think logically about our options.

 So the next time events take a turn for the worse, use EBRAN before acting.

 In the words of the song, hopefully I’ve given you “something to think about”…..