Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Article: What Does It Mean To Be A Crisis Ready Organization?

by Andrew Griffin

There are six principles for ensuring that your organization is truly crisis ready.
Most of the work done in the name of crisis management is in fact crisis preparedness. “Are you ready to face the worst?” is a question that boards ask, regulators ask, governments ask and investors ask. They want to know that an organization and its senior management are in an advanced state of crisis preparedness. This article looks at how an organization can become ‘crisis ready’.

1. Preparing policy
Principle: Crisis management is a distinct component of an organization’s wider resilience framework.
Crisis management policy should explain how the organization thinks about and prepares for crises as a distinct component of a wider resilience framework.

2. Preparing leaders
Principle: Crisis management requires strong, effective leadership in both preparation and execution.
Crisis management requires creative decision-making, not blind rule following. Leadership therefore makes a huge difference to a crisis response, and leaders must be prepared to fulfil their role.

3. Preparing structure
Principle: Crisis management requires a clearly defined structure delineating powers between different teams.
Crisis management requires structure that empowers the right people and teams at the right levels to make, implement and communicate decisions.

4. Preparing procedures
Principle: Crisis management requires procedures that guide an organization’s crisis response.

The structure is the framework in which people and teams manage crises. Procedures are there to provide them with some rules and guidance.

Crisis procedures are not procedures in the sense familiar to those in business continuity or incident response. Crisis procedures – or a ‘crisis manual’ which I think is a more helpful term – should be a handful of pages long. It is not a step by step guide as to what to do next in any given situation, but is a set of rules within a working framework in which good decisions can be made, implemented and communicated.

5. Preparing people
Principle: Crisis management requires trained, skilled professionals to fulfil specific responsibilities.
Process is a necessary but not sufficient factor in good crisis preparedness. The rest is about people. Crisis management requires trained, skilled professionals to fulfil specific responsibilities. 

6. Preparing culture and relationships
Principle: Crisis management requires a culture that values reputation and the importance of external goodwill and relationships.
Companies that have a positive internal culture where reputation is genuinely understood and valued as a strategic asset will have a good backdrop for successful crisis management. It makes people want to exhibit the right behaviours, do their best, do the right thing and work hard for a company under pressure and scrutiny.
Culture is the internal context; goodwill and relationships provide the external context.

For the complete version of this article, you can go to this link to avail the book http://www.koganpage.com/editions/crisis-issues-and-reputation-management/9780749469924

For more information about Business Continuity, IT Disaster Recovery and Audit Training and Certification, visit www.sentryx.com or contact info@sentryx.com or call 1-800-869-8460.

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