Starting from scratch in terms of crisis management is tough. Sometimes the idea of creating the plans and supporting tactics, along with creating the infrastructure that will allow it all to actually function when the mess hits the fan can seem too much to handle. It’s not.
Much like other large-scale projects, getting your organization ready for crisis management is best broken down into a number of steps. And, of course, that means you need a Step 1, so here you are!
Step 1: Identify your vulnerabilities
Knowing where your organization is vulnerable, and what types of issues you’re likely to face, you suddenly have a logical progression into further planning. We use a process we call a vulnerability audit to identify anything in a given organization that could be impacted by, lead to, or worsen a crisis. The main ingredients in this process are a willingness to be 100% honest and to really dig into some topics most people would rather ignore. It’s not the most fun process in the world, but it’s usually only minutes in that we begin to get answers that leave us thinking, “How did this not create a major crisis already?”
For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
[Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is vice president for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]