Crisis management involves dealing with threats before, during, and after they have occurred, coping with a serious situation, from the moment it first occurs to the point that recovery is achieved. The credibility and reputation of the organization is often at stake requiring engagement of the best possible leadership providing for the open and consistent communication throughout the hierarchy of the organization and the affected public; often involving regulators
No matter how well and robust a system, project or service is designed, a solid crisis management plan prescribing rapid response to worst-case scenario and multiple alternative options is required; all possible actions perfected, tested, documented to create a routine that can be triggered on demand.
When this plan does not exist, having been overlooked during the project or service planning process and liability is high , then an organization needs access to a leader with a crisis mindset having the ability to suggest multiple simultaneous solutions; with the necessary cross-disciplinary expertise and experience to make wise and rapid decisions under stress, confident to use a trial-and error approach, prepared to take ownership and responsibility; capable of effectively communicating with all levels of management and subject matter experts
Our crisis management approach
Our independent crisis management team manages sudden or smoldering types of crisis equally well as it is does not have a political stake and is capable of concentrating on finding the best solution, free of complacency, panic and programmed decisions. Our experience is based on years of managing such crisis situations in project product delivery, catastrophic infrastructure failures and trading floor disasters etc.
We learned that anticipation of the inevitability of a crisis is similar to planning for the inevitability of death and taxes and is paramount for a positive outcome. Crisis anticipation starts designing systems and services with a crisis management plan in mind (for example, using common XML based common communication protocol) and fail-over principles.
We drive our customers though the full crisis life-cycle with particular focus on:
- establishing critical priorities and assessing the impact
- establishing adequate internal and external communication protocols
- establishing methods to respond to reality and perception
- empowering teams and avoiding pitfalls causing team dysfunction
- safeguarding the reputation and corporate survival of the company
We provide the strong leadership throughout the crisis that is required to reduce the turmoil of such crises and reasserts order and control by being visible to the team and to the public.
Understanding executive team roles, decision making process and accountability is the basis for preparing executives to perform in unexpected situations resulting in maximum control over an unfortunate situation
- creating a crisis management plan
- creating a crisis management team
- locating a crisis management center
- practice simulations and exercises of the crisis management plan
- listing internal communication channels and establishing levels of trust
- listing external communication channels and establishing levels of trust
- creating a crisis communication plan
Containment and damage control
- Activate the command center ensuring strong leadership which in turn ensures that the recovery team’s responses to the crisis convey confidence in the company and mitigate the possible concerns to the public.
- Assess the impact.
- Provide for information gathering, analysis, and storage, record all activities and timing of events.
- Define metrics to trigger response.
- Safeguard the reputation and ensure corporate survival of the company by communicating and responding effectively during a crisis.
- Create mission statement and public announcements
- Communicate information about the crisis to the public stakeholders as quickly, accurately, honestly and as often as possible because it allows for the appropriate controlling of the message and therefore the subsequent controlling of the crisis
- Communicate what is being done by the crisis team, do not to over-reassure the public during a crisis, rather advice how to focus on self-efficacy and protect from the effects of the crisis
Business recovery and clean-up
- Segregate tactical and strategic goals and activities.
- Concentrate on immediate business recovery or possible workaround.
- Facilitate direct communication line between decision makers and recovery team.
- Remove pitfalls that causing team to dysfunction during crisis
- Create environment of trust and safety.
- Block or remove noise makers.
- Provide fast access to information, expertise (internal and vendors).
- Assume control by regular, timely and accurate progress reporting outside of the crisis team.
- Recover operations.
Post-crisis phase, dealing with aftermath
- Debrief and evaluate the crisis response as soon as possible: the end of every crisis is the beginning of your preparation for the next one.
- Analyze teams actions, performance, decisions timing and correctness.
- Analyze the financial impact.
- Conduct thorough root cause analysis.
- Evaluate the positive aspects of the crisis as opportunities for renewal and future growth.
- Design and plan permanent corrective actions to avoid future recurrences.
- Document all activities and generate an Audit report.
- Create reports, communicate those with the public and stakeholders and the teams.
Analyzing lessons learned improves the understanding of the process and organizational mindset and results in building an environment of trust, identifying vulnerabilities, reforming the organisational mindset, affecting change and testing the competency of the organisation