This company, based in Edinburgh, was one of Crisis Solutions’ first clients; we have worked with them for more than 15 years. At the outset they were, in their word ‘chaotic,’ but they now have world-class crisis credentials.
The early days
These are the elements that made their crisis response ‘chaotic’:
- Too many people on the crisis team
- Not everyone was sure why they were present
- Noise in the room made for difficult communication
- People engaged in isolated conversations
- Somebody outside the crisis room held key information, but was unsure whether he was allowed to enter
- Nobody was chairing, nobody had the full picture
- Notes were not taken, nothing on the whiteboard, no crisis processes
Over time, the organisation became more focused, putting in place a smaller, more agile team. There was still little process in place, though they started to capture actions and decisions. More work was needed.
World-class crisis response
The organisation is now at world-class level.
- They have a clear agenda, clear strategy and roles
- Those in the secretariat know their role and are prompting the chair
- They rehearse their deputies, so deputies are as good as the principals
- They are very disciplined, have no concerns about seniority, anyone can ask the hard questions
- They have an excellent format for briefings, where each person has three minutes to give an update, making matters move quickly
Putting it into practice
It’s not just training and planning; the organisation has had to implement their crisis response. On one occasion, they had protestors outside their HQ and staff could not gain access. Those inside were in lock down and they used their crisis response to manage the situation effectively.
Planning is currently underway for two global sporting events which they are sponsoring, making the organisation high profile and potentially at risk.