Crisis Management

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Obviously, any corporation hopes not to face "situations causing a significant business disruption which stimulates extensive media coverage" (crisis). The public scrutiny that is a result from this media coverage often affects the normal operations of the company and can have a (negative) financial, political, legal and governmental impact. Substantial value destruction is to be feared of, especially when the crisis is not handled well in the perception of the media / public opinion. Crisis management deals with giving the right crisis response (precautionary, structural and ad-hoc).

Some generic help and hints on crisis management

  1. Prepare contingency plans in advance (crisis management team and members can be formed at very short notice, rehearsing of crises of various kinds)

  2. Immediately and clearly announce internally that the only persons to speak about the crisis to the outside world are the crisis team members)

  3. Move quickly (the first hours after the crisis first breaks are extremely important, because the media often build upon the information in the first hours)

  4. Use crisis management consultants (advice by objectivity of PR consultants is important, use the corporate image expertise of specialists)

  5. Give accurate and correct information (remember that trying to manipulate information will seriously backfire if it is discovered, also internally!)

  6. When deciding upon actions, consider not only the short-term losses, but focus also on the long term effects.

Executives at all levels of the organization are employed to manage crises and often do so on a daily basis. Their skills are really tested when they have to manage significant crises that have the potential to disrupt the organization's value creation process, income sources, operating expenses, stock price, competitive position and ongoing business. Compare: Charismatic Leadership.
The most effective crisis management occurs when potential crises are detected and dealt with quickly - before they can impact the organization's business. In those instances they never come to the attention of the organization's key stakeholders or the general public via the news media.

Creating a Business Continuity Plan

In instances where the crisis already has erupted, or it is inevitable the crisis will impact the organization's key stakeholders, a business continuity plan is helpful to minimize the disruption and damage. Developing such a plan can seem like a daunting task, but in actuality it is a common-sense document. It involves identifying those functions and processes that are critical to the business, then designing the operational and communications contingency plans to deal with the potential failure of one or more of them and how key stakeholders will react when they find out. An important element that is sometimes overlooked is to test the Business Continuity Plan. Also companies should consider Business Interruption Insurance against the loss of income after events (disasters) that temporarily interrupt business operations.
Corporations with business continuity plans will be in a better position to minimize the business impact and financial damage. On top of that, executives may find that the process of developing these plans also has an indirect benefit. Their organizations are more sensitive to possible crisis situations that could disrupt the business and affect its operating expenses, profits and overall growth. As a result their managers respond more rapidly and effectively to head them off.

Book: Laurence Barton - Crisis in Organizations II

Book: Steven Fink - Crisis Management: Planning for the Inevitable

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Crisis Management (Contingency Planning) Special Interest Group.

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Forum discussions about Crisis Management (Contingency Planning). Below you can ask a question about this topic, share your experiences, report a new development, or explain something.

topic Types of Crises
In a recent paper, Erika Hayes James and Lynn Perry Wooten distinguish between: 1. SUDDEN CRISES (Natural disasters, Terrorist attack, Plan explosion, Workplace violence, Product tampering, Sabotage,...
Comments4 comments
topic Crisis Management After Action Reviews Types
In a world that is constantly moving on from one crisis to another, organizations should assess their responses to said crises to determine if their actions taken were the optimal strategies, tactics,...
Comments7 comments
🔥 Not Learning from Previous Incidents: Horror Stories
I recently watched a review of the fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard on July 12, 2020. The fire occurred while the amphibious assault ship was undergoing maintenance at Naval Base San Diego. The fi...
Comments13 comments
topic Statistics on Business Continuity
Here are some facts that show the importance of Crisis Management / Business Continuity Planning. There were 930 companies operating from the World Trade Centre towers when the September 11 attacks t...
Comments1 comments
topic Execution in Crisis Management
It is not only to forecast/ plan for the contigencies but also the execution in case of actual crisis. There have been several instances in my career of around 17 years now that this concept has been ...
Comments1 comments
topic Disaster Risk Management (DRM)
What is Disaster Risk Management (DRM)? Meaning DRM, if we understand this concept of management in an integral way, constitutes a solid permanently available mechanism for authorities as a means of ...
Comments5 comments
topic How to deal with the Media in a Crisis?
Sometimes, it's hard for the company to deal with the media. If the case is 100 % black propaganda (such as libels or slanders) from others, is not too hard to gather all the fact for the press. But, ...
Comments3 comments
topic Crisisology as a Discipline
I am seeking information regarding activity in the area of crisisology in Europe. Can someone bring me up-to-date as to what is being practiced and published there? There isn't much of anything going ...
Comments7 comments
topic Commander's Intent
My son started a new position this week. The first thing covered in orientation by the management team were the Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV) of the organization. One might think that this is a fa...
Comments7 comments
topic How Often Should Contingency Planning be Performed? Frequency
Does shortening the frequency of contingency planning to say 2 to 4 weeks help in doing a better strategic planning job? To enable this, using the feedback received from the first iteration in the se...
Comments3 comments
topic The Pressure of IT on Leaders and Managers
Recently, some people have shown interest in complicated versus complexity. There are a few differences in the descriptions of the two concepts, but those are few and do not take away from the fact th...
Comments9 comments
topic Why Did Nobody Prepare for This Crisis?
The article above explains that it's important to prepare contingency plans in advance, before an actual crisis occurs. Isn't it remarkable that neither governments, nor financial regulators, nor fin...
Comments23 comments
topic Measures by Companies Against the Covid-19 / Corona Virus
It affects almost everyone in the world – the Corona Virus also known as Covid-19. It has put countries in lockdown, forced businesses to close or work on minimal staff, cancelled gatherings and put t...
Comments6 comments
topic How to Develop an Exercise Program for the Emergency Plan?
To avoid loss of lives during an accident, it is good practice to exercise the emergency response plan. My question is: how to develop such an exercise plan? Who can provide a brake down events list ...
Comments3 comments
topic Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): What Can You Do?
By coughing and sneezing, a person transmits the virus through his nose, throat or lungs. The virus gets into the air through small droplets. If other people inhale these droplets or transfer them via...
Comments4 comments
topic Combine Contingency Planning with SWOT Analysis
There is a strong case for all companies / organizations to regularly do a serious SWOT analysis - all 4 boxes and combine that with Contingency Planning. There is the possibility that a sudden Weakn...
Comments1 comments
topic International Association of Emergency Managers
For those professionals engaged in crisis and emergency management I would recommend you look at iaem.com The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) now has 7 global councils and over...
topic Steps in Case of a Product Quality Crisis
What are the possible strategies one should take to overcome a crisis regarding the quality of your products (especially in the food sector)?...
Comments1 comments
topic The Vulnerable Leadership Style for a Prolonged Crisis Like Covid-19?
In complex, uncertain, circumstances like in the current situation, the vulnerable leader (fully truthful, admits and apologizes for mistakes, asks for help, works on personal defects, is participator...
Comments10 comments
topic Understanding Scenarios and Consequences in Contingency Planning
A failure in most "contingency planning" is that it's analytical rather than strategic in nature. In complexity and systems thinking, an important attribute is to understand consequences. Managing co...
Comments1 comments
topic Preparing Execution of Contingency Plan
Contingency Planning is very important. Before actually executing the contingency plan, certain critical actions have to be taken such as: 1. Quickly gather, analyze and interpret factual data and in...
Comments2 comments
topic The Conflict Management Life Cycle
The company is exposed during its activities to a set of conflicts with its stakeholders, and it is necessary for the company to manage any conflict arising according to its interests. Therefore, publ...
Comments1 comments
topic Crisis Management Software
Hi members, I am looking for a crisis management software package with a mobile facility, should anyone have any experience in the same just please communicate it back. Regards....
Comments2 comments
topic Disaster Management
How to Manage in Case of a Disaster? Bonjour, I am looking for a guide on what executive managers should do in case a disaster hits their company. What are the dos and don'ts? Thank you....
Comments4 comments

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Best Practices

The best, top-rated topics about Crisis Management (Contingency Planning). Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

🥇 Win the Race to Disclosure
In a short article about crisis management in the media William Essex also stresses how important it is to win the race to disclosure. And he also gives some rules: 1. Be first to issue information o...
🥈 Crisis Leadership
Publilius Syrus already wrote in the 1st century BC: "Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm". This crisis management axiom is so important to leadership and management that we have it on the m...
Comments19 comments

🥉 What Managerial Competencies are Required to Tackle an Organizational Crisis?
In normal circumstances, various competencies are needed for top management to be successful. Besides (!) these regular competencies, certain specific skills and knowledge are crucial to recover from ...
Comments8 comments

topic Common Errors Leaders Make during Crises
Hirsch (2014) did research on crisis management and examined the most common errors top managers make in times of crisis. He found an interesting pattern of problematic behaviors among senior leaders...
Comments33 comments

topic The Spokesperson of your Crisis Management Team
The spokesperson plays a major role in the time of crisis; they are the face of the organization and represent it as a whole in front of any/every third party. This person should have a role of signif...
Comments12 comments

topic Why Contingency Planning? Importance and Benefits
Simpkins (2009) argues that Contingency Planning (CP) is probably the most important topic of an organization’s overall strategic plan. The importance of preparing for any contingencies must not be un...
Comments20 comments

Expert Tips

Advanced insights about Crisis Management (Contingency Planning). Here you will find professional advices by experts.


How to Develop a Crisis Communication Plan?

Crisis Management
In order to develop a successful communication plan during a crisis, following steps should be followed: 1. Identify th...

Top-10 Mistakes in A Crisis

Crisis Management, Education
Robert D. Ramsey in Supervision (Oct2004, Vol. 65, Issue 10) gives the following list of things not to do in a cr...

Multiple crisis

Preparing for domino effects
Remember and realize early on that one crisis can lead to another, and multiple crisis can occur at the same time. Consi...

Potential Types of Threats

Checklist of Types
- Financial (major decline in stock price, market crash, major decline in earnings) - Workforce (labour strike, labour ...

Use Belbin for your Crisis team

Building a Contingency Team
In order to build an effective contingency team, members need to be intelligently chosen. You need members with the foll...

Pitfalls of Traditional Risk Analysis

Risk Management, Crisis Management
In their 2000 book "Managing Crises Before they happens" Mitroff and Anagnos explain their critics on traditional risks...

Early Crisis Signals

The earlier the better...
People frequently wonder how a crisis can occur unexpectedly in a company and if top managers, aware of what is happenin...

Early Warning Signals

Timely Alert System
A useful exercise is to think of what events can be considered early warning signals for certain problems to arise. You ...

Preparing your Executive Team for Crisis

Contingency Plans & Manuals
Note that crises often happen in different ways than what you imagened and planned for... That's why preparing and edu...

Financial Indicators Check-list

Financial Crisis Signals for a Company
Due to the global economic crisis affecting companies of all industries and regions, there is a lot of interest in crisi...

Why Society is More Risky than Before

Understanding New Risk Categories, Risk Management
In his 1992 book "Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity”, Ulrich Beck describes new risk scenarios that companies have t...

Moral Intensity: When Will a Decision Be Seen as Unethical?

Risk Management, Business Ethics, Ethical Decision-making, Crisis Management, Corporate Responsibility
The financial crisis of 2008 has been partly the result of managers and executives taking excessive risks. That's why Fe...

Align Your Risk Management Strategy with Investors' View on Risk

Strategic Risk Management, Transparant Risk Management
Risk is an essential part of any investment. Modern organizations are giving more attention to their risk profile to be...

Consumer Psychology in a Downturn

Re-shape Your Marketing
Traditional ways that companies used to segment their customers are lifestyle, demographics, etc... These are absolutely...

Marketing Strategies in a Downturn

Leveraging Crisis
How marketers respond to the new consumer psychology of the current downturn? 1) For companies with a relatively strong ...
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Crisis Management (Contingency Planning). Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.


The Essence of Crisis Leadership

Crises, Crisis Management, Quick Decision-making, Crisis Response, Corona, Covid-19
Dr. Michael J. Ryan of the World Health Organization speaks about the lessons he learned while dealing with the Ebola cr...

Strategic Activism

Crisis Management
Activist NGOs have increasingly foregone public politics and turned to private politics to change the practices of firms...

Leading in Times of Crises

Leadership, Crisis Management
Presentation that assesses the characteristics that leaders should have and actions that they should take for effective ...

Crisis Leadership

Organizational Crises
This article proposes that there is, in fact, a difference between crisis management and crisis leadership, and that wha...

How to Give a Media Interview? The ABC and 3R Tool

Media Training, Media Training, Crisis Management, Success Stories, Media Interview
Former BBC Producer Andrew Carapiet distinguishes 2 different situations in which you are likely to have to talk to the ...

Funny Introduction to Business Continuity Planning

First Awareness of the Importance and Main Aspects of Continuity Planning
This video touches on many key topics of Business Continuity Planning with some humor: - The Need to have a Backup Plan...

Employee Empowerment, Teamwork and Communication

Performance Management, Employee Empowerment
Colorful presentation with speaking notes about 3 tools to improve organizational performance: Teamwork, Communication a...

Introduction to Crisis Management

Crisis Management, Crisis Categories, Crisis Stages, Crisis Team Formation
Comprehensive presentation about Crisis Management in organizations that includes interesting facts about performance of...

7 Steps to Create a Crisis Communication Plan

Introduction to Crisis Communication Planning, Contingency Planning
In this concise video Debbie DeWitt of Visix explains 7 steps to putting together a crisis communications plan: 1.̳...

5 Important Things to do When a Crisis has Occurred

Crisis Management Best Practices, Crisis Management Tips
Five good crisis management tips by Sam North. 1. Deal with it. Since a crisis not just goes away, you have to co...

3 Levels of Communication Skills for Managing and Leadership

Leadership, Communication Skills, Leadership Communication Framework, Barett
According to Barrett (2006) leadership communication can be referred to as the determined and purposeful delivery of mes...

Critical Thinking in Decision Making

Critical Thinking, Testing Assumptions, Avoiding Fallacies, Avoiding Biases, Dealing with Emotions
Presentation about critical thinking for decision making, including the following sections: 1. Failure of Imagination ...

The Role of NGOs in Disaster Management

NGO, NGOs, Crisis Management, Disaster Management, Crisis Response
This presentation is about NGOs, specifically focusing on their role in disaster management. The presentation includes t...

Effective Crisis Leadership

Crisis Management, Leadership Development
This is a useful presentation about effective leadership in crises, including the following sections: 1. The importance...

Introduction to Business Continuity Management

Understanding of the Need to Have a Business Continuity Plan, Organizational Resilience
Organizations have to be prepared to deal immediately with events everywhere around the world (from natural disasters to...

Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery Management

Business Continuity Planning, Disaster Recovery Planning, Crisis Management, Organizational Absorption
Presentation about Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP). The presentation includes th...

The Six Basic Questions of Risk Management

Initial Understanding of Risk Management, Risk Management Introduction
Managing risk is essentially a process of asking and answering six relatively easy questions no matter what setting (per...

Strategically Managing Perceptions for Improved Corporate Reputation

Reputation Management Activities, Strategic Reputation Management, Reputation Perceptions
Concise presentation that provides an interesting framework for reputation management. It particularly focuses on 4 key ...

The Importance of Reputational Risk and Managing it

Reputation Management, Risk Management
This presentation focuses mainly on the importance of reputational risk and the necessity of reputational risk managemen...

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