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Secretariat training

Keeping track of a crisis

Plans and checklists in a crisis are essential, but so to are individuals with secretariat skills to record information as it becomes available during a crisis. They also need to note decisions and actions, as well as being able to challenge the crisis team if they believe something has been missed.

Avoiding errors of ineptitude

In his book ‘The Checklist Manifesto’, Atul Gawande makes a distinction between ‘errors of ignorance’; making a mistake because you’re not in full possession of the facts, and ‘errors of ineptitude’; fouling up because you don’t make good use of what you do know. Gawande thinks the latter is where most mistakes are made.

He looks at medicine, particularly surgery, which has become so complex that, even for a highly competent doctor, it is easy to miss a step or in the stress of a difficult operation fail to ask a key question.

His findings definitely resonate with crisis management.

Accurate information

No company want to make ‘errors of ineptitude’ but unless information is recorded, filtered and shared, prospects of a successful outcome from a crisis will be bleak. Crisis leaders need accurate information to inform their decision-making.

And don’t forget, after a crisis has played out there may be an inquiry or court case, which will almost certainly go in search of an audit trail.

Let Crisis Solutions train your support staff who will become an invaluable asset in a crisis.


We have the expertise (we run at least one exercise every week) and speak to you in jargon-free language