Three keys to successful crisis management
3. Act Decisively. Overcoming denial and moving through deliberation leads to action. In most cases, the quicker you are seen to act and to provide information on the crisis and your actions the more likely you are to mitigate the effects of the crisis. Effective action depends on a number of elements:
- Isolating the crisis by identifying a crisis management team and dedicating them solely to the crisis. Other parts of your organization can work be devoted to business as usual but your crisis management team must be focused exclusively on the crisis and must have the authority and resources necessary to act.
- Speed is essential, particularly in crisis communications. Depending on the nature of your organization, you may have only minutes to get your story out. Even if it’s just acknowledging that the crisis has occurred and that you are assessing the situation it is critical that the public, your employees, and your shareholders hear from you.
- Acting quickly, demonstrating empathy with anyone affected by the crisis, and, above all, being honest can go a long way to countering the negative effects of a crisis.
Surviving a crisis requires that you quickly recognize and accept that a crisis is occurring, gather sufficient information to make decisions regarding the crisis, and move quickly to implement those decisions. Incorporating these three keys into your preparations for crisis may not guarantee success but they will certainly go a long way to preventing failures.
Lucien Canton, CEM is a consultant specializing in preparing managers to lead better in crisis by understanding the human factors often overlooked in crisis planning. A popular speaker and lecturer, he is the author of the best-selling "Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs." For more information, visit www.luciencanton.com, or e-mail Info@luciencanton.com.