The list is long: political interference, instability and unrest; terrorism; physical and cyber security breaches; workplace violence; insider malfeasance; IP theft; fraud; regulatory compliance failures; product recalls; natural disasters; supply chain disruptions. Today’s crises are triggered by events both within and beyond any organization’s control. To make matters even more unpredictable, organizations must be cognizant of “wild card factors” such as the speed of social media and its ability to turn any private problem into a very public crisis, and the power of far-reaching regulatory bodies with the ability to enforce and penalize in ways we couldn’t have imagined even 20 years ago. 

Over the next couple of months, Control Risks will explore the current state of best practice for readiness, response and recovery, sharing our in-depth analysis based on 43 years  of assisting clients through all three “Rs” across geographies and industry sectors. We will help organizations understand that crisis management isn’t a plan on a bookshelf but rather a full lifecycle that reinforces itself over time, creating a stronger, better prepared and more resilient organization. This lifecycle focuses on four key principles: 

1. Reducing the likelihood of crises occurring

2. Maintaining organizational readiness to respond

3. Minimizing the impact when crises do occur

4. Embracing continuous improvement 

An organization that follows these principles leverages a holistic approach to risk mitigation and preparation to become a “good responder”. The most effective responders in today’s crisis landscape are able to use the best of both “old world” crisis management orthodoxy and “modern day” techniques and technologies. More details are to come, but we have provided here a shortlist of leading-edge elements that have been vital in helping some of these effective responders across a range of recent disruptive events: 

  • Using a risk driven approach to readying the organization to respond through proactive risk mitigation and formalization, and continuous improvement of crisis management structures, teams, planning, and tools
  • Engaging subject matter experts beyond PR and legal counsel 
  • Leveraging technology solutions, all-source intelligence teams and GSOC capabilities 
  • Aligning on-the-ground response with strategic crisis management 
  • Integrating insurance cover to manage variable response costs, while securing needed expertise
  • Embracing continuous improvement and treating every crisis as a learning opportunity to ready them for the next one

    In the 2017 hurricanes in the US and Caribbean, major multi-national organizations had to respond to a far-reaching and long-lasting crisis under enormous scrutiny.  The most successful of these organizations were ultimately rewarded by the market and their employees because they:

  • Had established relationships with specialist third parties to rely on at a moment’s notice
  • Demonstrated that they could join on-the-ground response with corporate decision-making-strategically, tactically and in real time
  • Maintained a people-first approach and demonstrated how their values drove their response

Stay tuned for more insight and analysis on Control Risks’ 3R approach to crisis management as we continue to explore this topic in more depth and discuss how organizations navigate crisis in today’s world. 

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