How to build a crisis management plan
April 16, 2020
WHAT IS A CRISIS IN AN ORGANISATION?
A crisis is a negative and difficult event that impacts an Organisation and requires quick decision making to contain the damage. Its causes may have numerous sources:
- - Problems with the safety and integrity of products or services
- - Technical accidents, information leaks
- - Cyber security breaches
- - Negative media campaigns
- - Outbreak (e.g. COVID-19), other calamities or natural disasters
- - Among others
These situations can create vulnerabilities in an Organisation and affect its reputation, and therefore, a pre-defined Crisis Management Plan is highly recommended. The responsiveness, experience, and the team involved are essential and decisive for the development of a strategy to monitor and analyse the situation, and define post-crisis actions.
BEFORE THE CRISIS
Preparing for possible threat situations should be done in a proactive way. The first step is to bring the Management team together for intensive brainstorming sessions, so that all potential crises that may occur within the Organisation can be discussed. This will allow to identify possible situations, define strategies, goals, actions to be implemented, among other aspects to promote the normality of the Organisation. This is the only way to ensure a correct flow of information, assess results and reach the defined objectives. A level of crisis criticality must be defined by analysing probability versus impact, so that the Organisation is in a position to establish actions that allow it to:
- - Prevent the crisis from happening (where possible)
- - Act accordingly if the crisis cannot be averted
These actions will mitigate the impact of a crisis on an Organisation.
DURING THE CRISIS
There are crises that cannot be avoided and, when they occur, the previously defined Crisis Management Plan must be enforced immediately. Frequent internal and external communications should be made, so that employees, suppliers and customers feel confidence, credibility and security in the Organisation.
AFTER THE CRISIS
Once an organisational crisis has been overcome, there should be a more in-depth analysis of events, incorporating a review of strengths and weaknesses in management and monitoring, adapting and modifying strategic plans. Monitoring by the Organisation and KPI results will provide an effective assessment of the real impact of the crisis. A macro view that identifies the opportunities and threats that an organisation may face beforehand contributes to a preventive attitude that will certainly simplify the entire management of a crisis. For this reason, it is now essential for any Organisation - be it small, medium or large companies, governments or NGOs - to have a Crisis Management Plan.
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