Crisis management is a very specific skillset. It’s not for the faint of heart or the indecisive. You have to be able to control an often volatile situation, manage people above your paygrade – which may be up to and including the CEO – communicate effectively and efficiently and successfully complete a million other tasks while under the gun for time and cascading impacts. This all has to happen as you juggle people and information coming at you from every direction. I can remember many crisis activations where I was on my cell phone, being pinged on my computer and by text, every line on my desk phone was ringing and had a line of people at my door.
So, that’s why when clients tell me that their crisis structure calls for the leader of whatever area is most impacted by the event to lead the crisis, I strongly discourage that approach. You can be a very good subject matter expert, the very tops in your profession, and not be a good crisis leader at all. Some people panic. Some people don’t want any responsibility. Some people want all the responsibility. Some people are not decisive when quick decisions are key to success. Besides that, shouldn’t your subject matter experts be concentrating on using their expertise to recover their business area?
Other than having the right instincts and abilities, there are a few other keys to being a successful crisis professional:
When you think of how quickly a crisis event can escalate and everything that is involved in a successful response, it can be overwhelming. That’s why you need the right people, support and systems in place and fully optimized before you need them. Prepare yourself to be the leader that you know that you can be, have the right information and people at your fingertips, and your organization will be happy to follow.
At Solutions, we discuss topics like these to help you discover what’s possible. Register for Solutions20 today!
Solutions is Fusion Risk Management’s annual client success summit. It gathers clients from all over the world for multiple days of networking, education, and innovation. At Solutions, you’ll interact with colleagues, strategic partners, and industry experts. Solutions20 is all about bringing people together to empower and inspire our community to lead a more resilient world. Our goal is to bring you new perspectives from industry leaders, so come prepared to expand your knowledge and go beyond Fusion products. We are looking forward to learning, teaching, and networking with you!