STOP! Opine Upon the Decisions Made During a Crisis

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Imagine you’re sitting in front of the television or scrolling on your smart device watching the evening news. You see that a school or business, much like your own, has fallen victim to yet another incident of violence. You stop what you’re doing and imagine how you’d handle the crisis. Are you prepared? Have you created a robust crisis plan that has been trained and tested recently?

Stopping is exactly what we recommend organizations do when a crisis occurs. Think Crisis STOP™.

At Firestorm, when we think of stop, we think of an acronym. This acronym stands for:

  • Stabilize
  • Trigger
  • Opine
  • Prevent

First: Stabilize

In previous articles, we reviewed the “S” and “T” phases of Crisis STOP™, representing Stabilize and Trigger respectively. When a crisis occurs: STOP and Stabilize the situation. Focus on the issues at hand before taking actions or releasing statements. Actions taken in the immediate aftermath of a crisis may make sense in the moment, but without a clear decision-making process, they may not make sense a week, a month or a year later. Read the full article on Stabilizing During a Crisis.

Stopping and stabilizing the situation is a great start, but it’s only part of the solution. When you have stabilized a situation, who do you call upon for assistance? The next phase of Crisis STOP™ involves triggering the appropriate resources.

Second: Trigger

An issue many organizations face is the lack of established external resources prior to a crisis. Why? Because many people are guilty of what we call disaster denial; meaning they don’t believe a crisis will strike their organization. The disaster you watched unfold on the news may not hit your business or school; because no two crises are identical, but a similar crisis can affect your organization. The worst crisis is the one that strikes your people. Read the full article on Triggering the appropriate resources.

Third: Opine

The third phase in Crisis STOP™ stands for Opine. Unfortunately during a disaster, leaders are not presented with a good and a bad decision. Often, they are forced to choose between two bad decisions. Leaders must understand the ramifications attached to every decision and action during a crisis. Due to the emotional state many boards of directors and c-suite officers are in during times of disaster, they’re incapable of analyzing the difference between two bad choices.Firestorm DAW Graphic

When Crisis STOP™ is activated, a leader can maintain confidence that appropriate decisions will be made. We assist clients during this critical phase of a crisis when the decisions you make, the actions you take and words you say determine if a crisis escalates or stabilizes. Although no two crises are the same, many times incidents possess similar characteristics. There are very few crises that arise now that Firestorm has not already seen and handled. We can anticipate and augment the decision-making process.

Firestorm is always, and will remain, a resource in times of disaster. We encourage your organization to establish a plan prior to an event occurring. Not sure where to start? We can help with that, too. Contact us and we’ll set you on the right path.

In the upcoming weeks, look for the final installment of our Crisis STOP™ series – Prevent.

Related: Download the Paper: Crisis STOP™

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