The Complete Guide to Crisis Management for Every Business, by Daedalus Howell, takes an in depth look at crisis management and how companies can best navigate a wide variety of scenarios. The current COVID-19 pandemic is but one example of crisis; there are many other challenging situations that will require a deft and sensitive corporate response. Other examples include natural disasters, terrorism attacks, active shooters, as well as corporate or political scandals. Navigating a corporate crisis is never easy. To assist, Howell has pulled together advice from some of the world’s foremost authorities on emergency management, emergency response and emergency preparedness, including Telgian Engineering & Consulting Senior Project Manager, Lauris Freidenfelds.
According to Freidenfelds, “Crisis management is the methodology that an organization utilizes to address an emergency, crisis or event that alters the normal operations of the organization or threatens, or is causing harm to, the organization or its’ employees”
The Complete Guide to Crisis Management for Every Business includes sections on: Why Crisis Management Matters, Various Types of Crises and Common Crisis Management Theories, as well as Assembling a Crisis Squad, Auditing for Hazards and Getting the Right Information.
To read The Complete Guide to Crisis Management for Every Business, visit the Beekeeper website.
In addition, Freidenfelds has put together the following strategies and best practices for corporate emergency management, emergency response and emergency preparedness while navigating a corporate crisis:
• Develop an all hazards approach for dealing with crisis events. Do not create a different method for dealing with each type of crisis.
• Keep the plan simple. At the time of a crisis, leaders will not have time to read a 65 page document.
• Crisis events are difficult to manage without some sort of structure and plan. Identify potential actions in a plan, do not make it a prescriptive procedure. Allow for opportunities for good ideas to evolve through critical thinking during the crisis.
• Practice, drill and exercise.
• At the time of the crisis, identify the top three priorities to solve, not more. Focus on those and then add more as you address the first three.
• Identify an incident commander that can make quick decisions without needing all of the details before making a decision. Not all managers or executives are good crisis managers. Incident commanders are not always the subject matter experts (SMEs). The incident commander is the person who can take input from the SMEs and synthesize that info for a strong strategy of action. I like to say the IC herds the cats in the right direction.
• The incident commander should be someone who has the authority to make decisions for the organization in the altered state of operations.
• Invite only the necessary team members to the IC or crisis response table. Too many opinions can stagnate action.
• Always conduct an AAR. Never miss the opportunity to learn from a drill or exercise.
• Allow failure in drills and exercises. It is better to see a mistake in an exercise rather than a real event.
When Navigating a Corporate Crisis, Here’s What Companies Should NOT Do:
• Do not allow paralysis by over-analysis. Sometimes a good plan executed on time is better than a perfect plan implemented too late.
• Do not wait, sometimes convening an IC can identity mitigation steps to prevent the impact of the crisis.
• Do not work in a silo or try to go it alone. There are many emergency response agencies with tremendous resources.
• Do not think a crisis will follow a procedure. Consider best options and then look at what occurs next.
• Don’t believe that people will step up to a challenge without proper training and exercise.
Entrust Your Emergency Management & Operations Continuity to the Experts
Maintaining business resiliency through proper emergency management planning is essential to stakeholders, customers and employees, as well as supply chains. Telgian Engineering & Consulting’s (TEC) all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness includes emergency and crisis management programs designed to reduce vulnerability and deter threats, while minimizing the consequences of catastrophic events and other incidents.
TEC provide operations continuity management (OCM) aligned with BS25999, ISO 22301 and NFPA 1600. In addition, TEC offers ongoing support to help clients manage change in order to keep their OCM strategies both current and effective.