The difference between real and false panic


P.A.N.I.C. – Provide. ANuanced. Interpretation. Chaotically.

As change specialists we’re used to panic.

We always advise that people put good time into preparation. It typically benefits the business and the employees.

There are two types of panic we see though.

Real panic AND false panic. 

We’re good at spotting them both!

False panic

False panic manifests itself in two ways:

  1. People have limited capacity and feel like they are running out of time.
  2. People create panic to make their priority yours.

In our world, that second one might look like a person fishing around for prices to compare against quotes they already have and forgetting that their procurement team actually need the two other quotes to compare to the one they have already decided on. (You know who you are! ??)

The first type of panic on the other hand, is good panic.

It’s typically appropriate and is actually quite healthy. This is the type of panic that we are trained to calmly resolve and help with. It’s false panic because typically they’ve actually got plenty of time, they just need us to help with the capacity, because if they don’t resolve it now, it will become a problem.

The second type of false panic is where someone is essentially passing their problem on. This type seems to be on the rise right now and is particularly prevalent with companies who are setting up an entity in the UK for the first time, and perhaps have just realised thar they are not ready for an impending Government inspection. They need someone to get them ready within 24 hours. It’s false panic because it’s their panic, born out of poor planning.

If you leave something until it’s too late, and you are only going to act when the risk you knew might happen becomes an issue, typically experts will just wish you luck!

 Real panic

Real panic can happen when a company genuinely has had an oversight and need urgently for us to get them on track. That’s no problem.

It’s easy with anything in the organisational change world ordinarily. We can typically come in, act as an independent partner, and by concentrating on people first and being business focused, we can typically ‘fix’ what has gone before and reduce the panic.

You lose nothing by planning early and you lose nothing by contacting an expert early.

A no obligation conversation to prepare for what might come is a great way to build a relationship between you and us. We would always rather you reach out and we said no, or you decided no, than you reach out when you’ve left it too late.

So, next time you P.A.N.I.C remember to ask yourself, is it real or false panic? Help is available for both forms, just ensure you are seeking the help you need as early as you possibly can! Whether you need urgent support to resolve an issue or seek expert guidance, or you simply just want to get ahead of the curve, we are ready to help.

If you are considering a change project, or are undergoing a change project and are in need of some expert guidance, give us a call on 01491 414010 or email us at


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