One Giant Leap...
An interesting report from PwC in the US includes a number of interesting facts. Two in particular caught my eye.
First, 95% of respondents expected their organisation to be hit by a crisis in the future.
Second, “…by a margin of nearly 2-1 (54% against 30%) organisations that had a crisis response plan in place fared better post-crisis than those who didn’t”.
So, to paraphrase, there is a considerable number of companies saying “I know something bad is probably going to happen and I know that preparing for it will ensure I’m more able to deal with it, but I’m not going to!”
For those that do decide to plan, there’s another commitment needed - you need to regularly rehearse the plan to ensure it will work when the crisis hits. We can only guess how many organisations have an untested plan sitting somewhere on their shelves, or in the cloud, but I’ve yet to come across an organisation that hasn’t learned something from a crisis exercise.
Of course whether the exercise actually teaches them something about their plan is another matter. How many exercises have you seen where the crisis teams gets to the end of the exercise having never even looked at the plan? Don’t get me wrong - that’s arguably a good use of people’s time, but can we say it tests the crisis plan?
Imagine if 50 years ago Mission Control had said to Neil Armstrong “We’ve developed a plan in case things go wrong when you land on the moon, but we think it’s better to keep that in a sealed envelope untested. Maybe grab it when you need it and see if it works.”
I think I can guess what Neil would have said.