Civilizations, organizations, people, are evolving through crisis not through breakdown. The distinction between crisis and breakdown could appear trivial. It’s not. A crisis is a change and a breakdown is not. Both of them are often brutally encountered without warning or preparation. Both need to be urgently addressed to avoid further unforeseen developments. Both are generating stress and tensions.But they are definitely not the same.When facing a breakdown we can fix it rapidly to recover the previous situation and go on as if nothing had happened. This blip is soon forgotten and life goes on as usual. The crisis doesn’t allow this comeback to a previous state. The specific nature of the crisis is that there is no possible fix. There will never be again the same previous situation. The situation has changed definitely and that’s generally really scary for all the protagonists. The emotional content of the crisis has triggered psychological reactions that have modified the system. This is telling us how we should manage crisis to avoid being disqualified in the eyes of our people by treating the situation as if it was a mere breakdown. When dealing with a crisis we go through several emotional phases very similar to the Kübler-Ross model. At first the unthinkable phase. We are in denial and tend to reconnect the situation with what we know, our own certainties, and try to quickly bring solutions instead of establishing a diagnosis. The second phase of revolt is triggered by the impossibility to apply what we used to do in the past. The situation requires to reinvent a new solution but we are not ready for that and we generally tend to oversimplify,reduce the complexity and stick to opinions instead of facts. To overcome this, we need to release our grip and accept the difficulty. In this third phase it’s important not to give ground to paralysis or agitation to be able to reach the fourth phase, the solution/creation phase where creativity and collective intelligence is called-in to shape the future and generate a new energy. It’s important in such crisis situation to diagnose what forces are at work in the different stages of the change and to apply the appropriate solutions to recover and find a new equilibrium.