Five Common Failures in Crisis

In the majority of organizations analyzed, Firestorm has found five common failures in a disaster or crisis.

The failure to:

  1. Control Critical Supply Chains. It is important to identify the internal and external dependencies of critical services or products.
  2. Train Employees for Work and Home. Firestorm has found that across most companies 95% of employees do not have a plan at home. If employees do not have a clear strategy for their families, an emergency or disaster can force them to choose between family and work. Family will always trump work.
  3. Identify and Monitor all Threats and Risks. Knowing the threats an organization will face enables it to manage the results and respond to those threats. Firestorm’s process identifies the potential threats, both natural and man-made.
  4. Conduct Exercises and Update Plans. Training converts written plans into actionable ones. By test exercising plans and their procedures, the problems or weaknesses identified will stimulate appropriate changes.
  5. Develop a Crisis Communications Plan. Effective communications is a crucial element in emergency/crisis management and should assume a central role in disaster preparedness. Proper communications establishes confidence in the ability of an organization to deal with a crisis and to bring about a satisfactory conclusion.

In a Crisis, Where do You Start?

Firestorm has managed numerous crises in public and private companies, schools, and government organizations. The Firestorm senior leadership lessons learned are based upon decades of crisis and consequence management experience in managing crisis outcomes successfully.  The Firestorm PREDICT.PLAN.PERFORM.® process for crisis and consequence management optimizes outcomes and restores your management control.

We all face risks and vulnerabilities. Not every risk can be eliminated. While some risks can be mitigated, disasters and crises will happen. Establishing a clear crisis management plan with identified leadership and authority positions an organization to manage a crisis effectively. Identifying what needs to be monitored with predetermined triggers for actions empowers people to act immediately. Having predetermined roles, responsibilities, and actions positions leadership in a position implement actions consistent with strategy and brand. The middle of a crisis is not the time to start trying to figure who the players are and what the game plan is.

In a crisis, identify what you know. Not, what you think. Establish what you are concerned about. Create an actionable plan. Monitor events and media. Adjust strategy and plan continuously based upon fact.