The first moments of an emergency are ones of executive anxiety. There is little reliable information and a great need to take immediate action. But what to do? In an emergency of any kind, the first plan to execute is the Crisis Management Plan. A Crisis Management Plan provides direction amidst the chaos by describing those first important decisions to make until more information becomes available. It tells everyone where to assemble, how the executive reaction team communicates and what the leadership team should be doing to gather the relevant information for action.
Ask a Vice-President of a department what they will do in a given situation and they will list a series of steps to take. Ask the same question of the other people in the department and they will all come up with something different. A plan, known by all, provides guidance for those until the company can resolve the situation. These same immediate action steps can cover most situations.
Unfortunately, the plan for most companies is to figure-it-out-when-it-happens. This casual approach guarantees that valuable time will be lost in the crucial first hours through doing the wrong thing or forgetting to do others. A well written plan provides guidance for actions to consider taking, what must be done and in what sequence.
There is much to do in a short time! Customers must be reassured that their products will still be delivered on time – or assisted with finding alternate sources. Employees will want to know how they can help. The insurance adjuster may require that nothing moves until they review the damage. The news media are arriving and deciding how they can tell your story for the greater entertainment of their audiences. The list of executive actions is long and nowhere in this list was much about containing and remediating damage. That is left for other teams. The executive team must focus on external... [continues]
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