Never letter a good crisis go to waste

Attribution on this quote is difficult, Rham Emanuel certainly said a variant of this during the financial crisis. Regardless, the aphorism means that there are opportunities and actions not available in neutral or positive periods. This can have positive implications, for instance, you may be able expedite vaccine research and approval during a pandemic. Additionally, there may be learnings that come out of the situation. However, a second order implication to this line thinking is that others will be looking to take advantage of these opportunities. Those with power (stability, capital, etc.) will look to exploit the opportunity. A selfish example might be an executive in a recession who chooses to trim budgets/benefits/head counts to improve financial metrics under the auspices of “trimming fat”. Whether that fat exists is immaterial, “we’re in a recession”, and so trimming of head count or benefits can be justified. During downturns, be cognizant of your position with an organization (how clear is the value you provide, political positioning, projects you are aligned to) and for signals that someone may be exploiting the situation. Outside of that, look for benevolent opportunities.