A crisis response can’t be automated. Overcoming a crisis is about judgment and choices. A dynamic, focused response is required; one that concentrates on impacts rather than causes. Understanding the impacts a crisis is having on your organisation will provide sharp-focus on what needs to be done.
A crisis has been described as a brutal audit of an organisation; it will certainly reveal facets of your business that nobody knew beforehand.
We believe there are four vital capabilities required in a successful crisis response. They are Activation, Communication, Information Management and Decision Making. Here is an overview of our benchmark: The ACID Test.
Activation: If you don’t have a team you can’t fight the crisis. So those who discover a potential crisis need to know who to inform plus there needs to be a clear process for assembling the crisis team.
Communication: The need to communicate effectively during a crisis cannot be over emphasised. You have to understand what needs to be said and when, by identifying key messages and communicating promptly with staff, the media, customers and suppliers, using appropriate media channels for each audience.
Information Management: The third requirement is the capability to gather, filter, assess and share information so that decision makers have the best shot at choosing the right course of action.
Decision Making: One of the great arts in over coming a crisis is successful decision making. There should be a consistent and agreed method for making decisions. Why? Because under pressure it’s vitally important that no time is lost in working out who’s in charge and what method should be used for deciding what to do.
This is just a snapshot, there is a great deal more to be said about all these capabilities and in forthcoming blogs we will look in more detail at the four individual aspects of The ACID Test.