The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Crisis Management in 2012

Head in handsBy Dominic Cockram

This year has seen many crises hit large organisations; these crises came in all shapes and sizes, and prompted a variety of different responses from the organisations that were affected. We take a look at lessons learned from three crisis management responses that stood out for us in 2012 – and not always for the right reasons.

The Good: Goldman Sachs

The resilience of the Goldman Sachs tower in New York in the face of Superstorm Sandy was remarkable. They became (literally) a shining beacon of business continuity amid chaos, and yet still had to deal with negative perceptions — the unintended consequences of success.


  1. Investment in an extensive business continuity programme really does pay off
  2. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t – the irony of preparing for the backlash if your plans do work

The Bad: Ulster Bank

When the RBS Group suffered a ‘technical glitch’ back in June, Ulster Bank lagged behind its sister bank NatWest in all aspects of its crisis management. Communication was slow to materialise, vague and infrequently updated whilst the problem itself was only rectified a full two months after NatWest was back on its feet.


  1. Learn from those around you, especially if they have experienced similar issues
  2. Don’t hide from the media (they’ll assume you’re on holiday)

The Ugly: Media Training #Fail 

Among the most uncomfortable moments of the year has to be watching top bosses George Entwistle of the BBC and Nick Buckles of G4S squirm in media interviews and under the questioning of MPs.


  1. Choose an effective, fully briefed and media-trained spokesperson
  2. Denial and shifting blame doesn’t win you any sympathy

About Dominic Cockram

Founder and MD of Steelhenge. Pioneer of simulation exercises with over 20 years experience in business continuity and crisis management. Dominic is an experienced speaker determined to make the world a more resilient place.

One thought on “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Crisis Management in 2012

  1. Pingback: Today’s Digest 2. January 2013 » Continuity Management News

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