Crisis Planning

Preparing Your Response to the Unexpected

Crisis planning can help you weather a storm.

© iStockphoto/swilmor

Crises happen from time to time in all organizations. So when one happens "on your watch" how will you react? Will you resolve it in a way that seems graceful and well-considered? Or will you stumble, and make mistakes which seriously damage your business?

This depends on the quality of the crisis planning that you do.

Crisis planning requires foresight, insight and hindsight. When you plan for a crisis you are, by definition, planning for something that has not yet occurred but might do, and might have a serious impact on your business. No one wants a crisis to happen, but we must acknowledge the truth: bad things do happen, and the results can be serious or even disastrous.

The need for crisis planning is clear, but because the exact nature and likelihood is unknown, many of us put it off. Don't make that mistake! It's not defeatist or fatalistic, it's simply realistic. If a crisis happens, you'll manage it much more successfully if you've prepared properly in advance!

When we think of business crises, we often think of major disasters such as terrorist attacks, hurricanes, or a pandemic of avian flu. While terrorism and natural disasters definitely need to be anticipated, it's worth remembering that there are many other types of less dramatic business crisis that can cause damage to your organization. These include:

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