6 Resilience Resolutions Every Organisation Should Make in 2013

By Dominic Cockram

new-year-resolutionResolution 1 – Must not bury head in the sand

Evidence shows that 85% of organisations will experience a major crisis within the next 5 years. ‘It’ll never happen to us’ just won’t cut it anymore, so get on with developing those plans and procedures and training your staff to ensure everyone knows what to if it all goes wrong.

Resolution 2 – Must exercise more

We don’t mean going for a jog in your lunch hour…this is about scenario-based desktop and simulation exercises that practice your incident response, help bring plans to life, highlight any gaps, and allow staff to gain experience, familiarity and confidence in crisis management.

Resolution 3 – Must improve communication

Step One – appreciate the central importance of communication in a crisis
Step Two – recognise the difference between crisis communications and day-to-day PR
Step Three – create a Crisis Communications Plan and involve the comms team in all crisis management training and exercises

Resolution 4 – Must figure out this social media malarky

Like it or not, it’s here to stay. Social media can bring huge benefits to crisis management and business continuity both as a monitoring tool to spot problems before they escalate and influence public perception; and as a communication channel to broadcast important information, combat rumours and reassure customers and stakeholders.

Resolution 5 – Must be more decisive

Successful crisis management is a balancing act of knowing the right questions to ask when an incident occurs and making strategic decisions at the right time, with incomplete information and extreme pressure. This is never an easy task, but with the right tools in place and plenty of practice (see Resolution 2) decision-makers can develop and execute action plans quickly and effectively and with the confidence that is crucial in a crisis.

Resolution 6 – Must stay up-to-date and in-the-know

Luckily for you, we’ve made this one very easy. We post twice a week on this blog about industry developments, thought leadership and tips for best practice in the world of crisis management, crisis communications, business continuity and emergency planning. Just click ‘Follow Blog’ on the right of this page, or follow @Steelhenge on Twitter to keep up to date with all things crisis. You can also add us to your circles on Google+.

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.

3 thoughts on “6 Resilience Resolutions Every Organisation Should Make in 2013

  1. Dominic,
    All good points – especially the first two. I’m sure you have the same frustration in the UK as I do in the US relative to your first point – most companies just don’t believe they need disaster plans. I’m curious about what strategies you use to convince them otherwise.

    Your second point – more exercises – is spot on. My forte is training and exercises and the return on investment that jurisdictions and companies see from conducting exercises is huge. It tests the plans, helps to train the people, identifies areas for improvement, and builds confidence and familiarity they wouldn’t otherwise have.

    Thanks and happy new year!

    • Tim

      Happy New Year to you too, and thank you for your very kind comments. Much appreciated and good to know someone else sees the same issues – and that they apply internationally!

      I have found that one of the most effective ways to suggest plans would be useful and effective is to ask a client to imagine an inquiry into their actions following a crisis by their regulator (or litigator), and take them through the options as they are questioned about what plan they followed and how they had prepared their staff to respond – since surely they would have done so under plain good governance..? This often causes a wrinkle of the eyebrow as they realise that the executives will be under scrutiny and not looking too good at this stage if the answer is “We just didn’t think it was that important”.

      Ultimately you can take them to the water but you can’t make them drink, and those that come to us are usually more than half way there in their decisions. So, frustrating though it is, many out there still have nothing – hence us launching the blog and our series of crisis management papers (first one here: http://issuu.com/steelhenge/docs/crisis_management_paper_cornerstones_2012) to try raise the profile of crisis management and get it higher up the agenda.

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