As in other pursuits, you have to train to be good at crisis management
Would you step on stage to perform a play without ever going through rehearsals? Do you think you’d be successful at the free-throw line if you skipped every practice?
The answer, obviously, is no, yet organizations continue to assume that they will be capable of performing well in crisis management scenarios without ever once actually running through their plans.
In the following quote, from an Employee Business News article, Bernstein Crisis Management president Jonathan Bernstein explains why crisis simulations are a must:
Conduct crisis simulations
Simulations help ensure the appropriate people stay up-to-date. “Several organizations that were in the World Trade Center on 9/11 had done that, including practicing evacuation and moving operations to a different site, because they had been warned by the previous World Trade Center bombing [in 1993],” says Bernstein. “Without drills, many of the skills and processes in crisis plans are not intuitive to plan participants.”
One of the best things about crisis simulations is that they can be scaled according to your budget and time constraints. At one end of the spectrum you have simple tabletop exercises where participants verbally walk through their duties, and on the other you have full-on simulations that include things like participants with “injuries” and interactions with local law enforcement or safety officials.
Don’t be caught poring through binders full of crisis plans when the proverbial mess hits the fan. Conduct regular simulations and be prepared to react concisely and effectively to a breaking crisis.
The BCM Blogging Team