© 2005 Jonathan Bernstein
Estimated Readership: 14,000+
JUST A THOUGHT
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
CRISIS MANAGER UNIVERSITY
I'm keeping this issue short, my friends. I almost decided to "take the rest of the year off" from newsletter writing, but figured I'd ask my muse to inspire some closing thoughts as we leave 2005 behind us. If you're looking for my usual "teaching mode" writing, please hang in there until the January 1 issue. If you want a look inside my head -- which could be scary -- read on.
I am encouraged by the very strong increase in demand for crisis preparedness services -- vulnerability audits, crisis planning, training and simulations. It seems that in the United States, at least (and non-U.S. readers can maybe give me feedback about their regions), the critical mass created by everything from Enron to 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina finally pulled a lot of decision makers' heads out of whatever dark place they'd been with regard to preparing IN ADVANCE of a crisis. My congratulations to all who have finally awakened and are taking action in this area.
Yet preparedness is not expanding, I believe, as quickly as the propensity for crisis. As I've written about frequently, the Internet has made it much easier to hurt organizations and individuals in many ways. There are people who are -- to organizations -- what stalkers are to individuals. There are true terrorists who collect information on their targets and exchange data on how to harm those whom they consider to be evil. There are instructional manuals on everything from how to be an Internet activist to how to build destructive weapons. There are people with the skill and/or programs which allow them to access the data you THINK you're keeping confidential. And there is ubiquitous email sharing information that should not be shared, whether deliberately or through carelessness. The butterfly which flaps its wings on the Internet in China is, indeed, felt all over the world. We must prepare.
Increasingly, I have been seeing evidence of something about which much has been written in the past few years -- spirituality in the workplace. Not religion -- spirituality. Get out the dictionary if the difference is unclear to you. I have heard some very senior level executives express the sense that a Higher Power of some kind was at work in helping to resolve certain crises, and that business success is not merely a matter of men and women putting in X amount of effort. I agree. If you ask anyone who is believed to be highly skilled in his or her field of endeavor how they got to be so good at what they do, a very high percentage will credit the Higher Power of their own understanding, whether they call it God, Jesus, Buddha, The Goddess, or any other image that works for them. I am regarded as quite proficient in my field, but I have to acknowledge that I have had a "knack" for crisis management most of my life, just as my wife -- a talented artist -- has had the ability to create beautiful images since she was very young. Training and experience refined our ability, but where did it come from? Just something to think about.
In closing, let me wish each of you a serene and joyous holiday season. I am grateful for all of my readers, many of whom have written very kind words about this ezine over almost six years it has been in publication. Some of you have become friends, some of you have become clients, and some are both. Whether you are a friend I know, or a friend I might yet have, may 2006 bring you much peace and prosperity.
December 15, 2005
CRISIS MANAGER BUSINESS ANNOUNCEMENTS
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PLAIN ENGLISH DISCLOSURE
Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. has formal or informal co-promotional and mutually beneficial business associations with a number of the services we mention periodically in this newsletter. No, we can't go into details because that's confidential, proprietary, etc. But our relationship is NOT "arm's distance" and you should know that, since we regularly write about these services as we use them for crisis and issues management or other purposes. That said, you should also know that Bernstein Crisis Management sought the relationships because its staff is convinced that these services are the best of their kind for Bernstein Crisis Management's needs and those of its clients. If you have any questions about these relationships, please contact Jonathan Bernstein, (626) 825-3838.
ABOUT THE EDITOR & PUBLISHER
Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., www.bernsteincrisismanagement.com, a national crisis management public relations agency providing 24/7 access to crisis response professionals. The agency engages in the full spectrum of crisis management services: crisis prevention, response, planning & training. He has been in the public relations field since 1982, following five-year stints in both military intelligence and investigative reporting. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. is located at 1013 Orange Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016. Telephone: (626) 825-3838.
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