Crisis Leadership: Human and Infrastructure Catastrophes: Theoretical Insights and Lessons Learned from Fukushima

Charles Casto


Crisis Leadership: Human and Infrastructure Catastrophes:

Theoretical Insights and Lessons Learned from Fukushima

Dr. Charles A. Casto[1]

Casto Group, USA


This paper discusses the theoretical concepts associated with leadership during extreme events, with special attention paid to the extreme event at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Evidence suggests that the Earth is flattening.  Populations are more tightly coupled as ever in the history of mankind.  This coupling ranges from air travel, social connections, infrastructure, cyber and beyond.  For the extreme crisis leader, increased coupling necessitates more sensemaking, management skills, and the coupling creates new tasks for the extreme crisis leader. As the complexity of crises increases, each of the established crisis management, leadership, and decision-making theories has special applicability. A new world of extreme crisis leadership has emerged especially considering the transboundary effect of close coupling.  Leadership innovation is needed now more than ever for the modern extreme crisis. This paper provides the crisis leader with lessons from Fukushima and provides theoretical insights on extreme crisis leadership as well. The events surrounding the Fukushima nuclear crisis present the manifestations of these new challenges. New tasks for the extreme crisis leader are presented.

[1] Dr. Casto was the lead federal executive in Japan during the Fukushima nuclear crisis where he led a team for nearly one year responding to the extreme crisis.


Extreme Crisis Leadership; transboundary; Fukushima; nuclear disaster; Black Swan; Emergency Planning


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