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Is your business crisis ready?

Crises come in many forms. Some are self-inflicted: the doctor being forcibly removed from the United Airlines plane springs to mind. A crisis might be a bolt from the blue: perhaps a cyber-attack. Or social media trolls amplify a piece of misinformation and suddenly there’s a witch-hunt against your company. So is your business crisis ready? […]

Generic plans, specific playbooks and asymmetric attacks

At the heart of crisis management and business continuity there’s always a push and pull between planning for specific and nonspecific threats. The essence of a sound business continuity plan is its ability to counter threats of almost any nature. At their heart BC plans are typically generic and don’t seek to ameliorate a particular […]

Crisis Leadership: Sir Craig Mackey

An inquest into the death of the Westminster attacker, Khalid Masood, heard that Sir Craig Mackey, Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, was being driven out of the Houses of Parliament on 22 March 2017 and witnessed Masood stabbing PC Keith Palmer to death. Masood had run down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and crashed his […]

Cyber-crime: The ever-changing threat

In quick succession, Facebook, the UK Conservative Party and British Airways have suffered aggressive cyber-attacks. Facebook saw 50 million user accounts affected with attackers able to takeover users’ accounts. The Tory Party suffered embarrassment when their official conference mobile phone app made the private data of senior party members accessible to anyone able to second […]

Sewing needles in strawberries devastate Australian farmers

Risks take many shapes and forms. The latest comes in the seemingly innocent guise of a sewing needle. It’s not front page news in the UK, but the discovery of needles hidden in strawberries, has caused alarm across Australia. Punnets of contaminated strawberries have been reported across six Australian states, with several brands being recalled. The […]

NHS unprepared for cyber-strike

An independent investigation into the WannaCry cyber-attack makes uncomfortable reading for the NHS. The National Audit Office (NAO) report castigates the health service for being unprepared for what the NAO calls a relatively unsophisticated attack, which “could have been prevented by the NHS following basic IT security best practice.” It also highlights fundamental crisis management flaws. […]

Can you profile the perfect crisis manager?

The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell In his 2000 bestseller, The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell looks at three different character types who when working together can be pivotal instigators of change and provide a successful crisis response. He calls them Connectors, Mavens and Persuaders. What makes a Connector? Put simply, they know a lot of people, […]

Crisis comms and the CEO

Crisis comms and the CEO These days, CEOs have to be visible in an emergency. If the media feels they’re hiding, questions will be asked. Why’s she not taking responsibility? What’s he got to hide? Part of the problem for a CEO is the huge switch that happens to their lives in a crisis: a […]

Beyond Crisis 101 #5

But if you do say the wrong thing or your words come out freighted with meaning you didn’t intend, how do you fix the problem? * If your comment is misinterpreted or taken the wrong way, listen to the grievance and don’t dismiss it as mischief making. (Though of course it could be that too) […]

Beyond Crisis 101 #4

Don’t let your guard down Journalists call it ‘monstering’ when they pounce unexpectedly, perhaps as you’re leaving your office or getting into a car. Most executives are trained not to say ‘no comment’ but when you’re unexpectedly approached for a statement it can be very unsettling, as you’ve had no preparation. As I’ve pointed out […]