Engaging the top team in crisis preparedness

Crisis-Management-Insights-Survey-2015-011.pngChief executives, managing directors and other senior business leaders are failing to engage fully in crisis preparedness and risk undermining their organisation’s ability to manage crises, according to Steelhenge and Regester Larkin’s latest crisis management survey.

The survey of 170 large companies from 27 countries revealed that big business understands the need to prepare for a crisis, with 86 per cent of respondents owning a crisis management plan, 59 per cent carrying out crisis training and 68 per cent conducting crisis exercises at least annually. It is clear that crisis preparedness is high on the agenda. Continue reading

‘Strategic’ and ‘operational’ resilience – establishing more comfortable bedfellows

Untitled-1By Dominic Cockram

The more I hear of the current discourse on organisational resilience, the more uncomfortable I find myself feeling.

The concept has been around for a long time and was brought sharply into focus in 2014 by the British Standard, BS 65000: Guidance on Organisational Resilience. As one of the editors, I was party to vivid and lengthy discussions and much positive disagreement as we ranged around the topic of organisational resilience, what it meant and how best to set it out in a standard. In the end, what came out was a ‘Guidance’ and that was an excellent result. Resilience is a complex and many faceted concept and it would have been wrong to go too far in framing an approach at this stage.

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Launch of BS 65000, The new British Standard for Organisational Resilience

The GuildhallThe new British Standard, Guidance on Organisational Resilience (BS 65000: 2014) was launched on 27th November at the Guildhall in the City of London. The venue was an apt choice for the launch of a resilience Standard; built in the 15th century, the Guildhall is one of the older secular buildings in London not only surviving both the Great Fire and the blitz but also remaining relevant today as the high-tech home of the City of London Corporation and the setting for many banquets, receptions and corporate events.  This history of the Guildhall struck me as having parallels with the essence of organisational resilience described by Chairman of the BS 65000 committee, Dr Robert MacFarlane from the UK Cabinet Office. He emphasised that resilience is a dynamic concept requiring organisations not only to be able to continue with their business operations during a sudden change or disruption but also to adapt over time to keep pace with changes in their wider context in order to survive and prosper. It seems the Guildhall has managed this. Continue reading

The Crisis Management Conference 2014; Planning for Prosperity with a Coherent Crisis Management Capability

CMC2014 logo.jpgThe 2014 Crisis Management Conference (CMC 2014) will take place in London on Thursday 18th September. Delegates will be given a unique opportunity to hear speakers from the BBC, Network Rail, John Lewis, UBS, O2, UK Cabinet Office and the University of Liverpool discuss their first-hand experiences in preparing, responding and communicating in crisis. Click here to see the full programme.

Crisis management was long associated with failure and a desire to “keep covert” any crisis plans and preparations. Today, however, it is a topic of success, heralding responsible guardianship for the future well-being of an organisation’s people, performance, assets and reputation. It signals excellence in governance and leadership and is seen as an integral part of an organisation’s resilience, enabling it to thrive, survive and seize opportunity. Continue reading

Resilience and Crisis Management – what to look for in 2014?

By Dominic Cockram

Opinions on hot topics for 2014As the torrential rain and gales continue and, with the wettest January in UK already recorded, the mind swings to what else 2014 will hold for us within the resilience and crisis management world. Just for starters, we should see the launch of two new British Standards for Crisis Management and Resilience, both borne of the increasingly turbulent world in which organisations are operating and striving for success. I have also compiled a list of the Top 10 topics most likely to influence us this year. Continue reading

HMV: Rogue employees and corporate communications in the digital age

hmv-logoBy Dominic Cockram

Concerned about hackers, protesters, weather disasters or even the threat of terrorist attack? You may want to look a bit closer to home. It is an established fact in crisis management circles that some of the biggest vulnerabilities an organisation faces come from its own staff. Whether that be a conspicuously hidden post-it note with log-in details to all the company accounts; opening a harmless looking email loaded with malware; or a disgruntled employee (or ex-employee) using company resources to tarnish a reputation.

Last week, HMV learnt this lesson the hard way when their Continue reading

Public vs Private: Are the stakes higher for commercial organisations in a crisis?

By Katie Collison

Recent events and corporate crises have got me thinking – are the immediate impacts and long-term consequences the same for both public and private sector organisations?

The Financial Crisis – a case in point

Blame for the 2008 financial crisis has been apportioned to both the private sector banks, and also their public-sector regulators (namely the FSA) for failing to ‘limit the impact of the misjudgments made by the financial institutions’.

So how do the impacts and consequences compare Continue reading

Cyber Security and Business Continuity: The stats & the steps

National Cyber Security MonthAs the relationships between businesses and customers move increasingly online, last week’s denial-of-service attack on HSBC was a stark reminder of how dangerous cyber attacks have become. ICT continuity has quickly risen to become a top business and policy priority, and essential to safeguarding organisational survival.

Most organisations, regardless of size or sector, are dependent on their ICT infrastructure to deliver products and services. Any disruption can negatively impact operational capability, and by extension, do damage to reputation, profitability and even potential for future growth.

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How To…Manage your social media in a crisis

There are numerous ways in which social media can (and will) play an integral role for your organisation during a crisis. Social media has been known to both amplify and even start incidents that may result in reputational damage. However, if managed appropriately, it can also be used to communicate with customers and mould public perception.

This guide covers the key points you should consider when engaging with social media during a crisis.

Number 1: HAVE A PLAN

Think how many times you’ve rehearsed for a tangible crisis, a bomb drill, a fire evacuation. Like it or not, social media is now an integral part of life and business. If you use any aspects of social media ensure it is included in your Crisis Communications Plan and rehearsed to trouble-shoot any pitfalls. Continue reading

Planning Crisis Communications

Never has the need for a thoroughly planned, well-rehearsed, comprehensive crisis communications plan been more apparent: the recent incidents involving NatWest, O2 and Barclays (to name just a few) have amply demonstrated the complexity involved in achieving a ‘good’ crisis communications response when under considerable pressure both internally, and under the scrutiny of the press and general public.

The delivery of any successful crisis management response is reliant on excellent communications: a rehearsed, effective, integrated and ready-to-go crisis communications plan is essential. This involves much more than the day-to-day communications strategy. The plan should: Continue reading