When CEOS Become the Root Cause of Crises

Erik Bernstein crisis management


One of the toughest challenges for any crisis management consultant is telling the CEO of a client organization that they are part of the problem.  When does that happen?

When the CEO:

  • fails to insist that crisis management best practices – crisis prevention and response – become an integral part of his/her organization;
  • sees crisis preparedness as an expense versus an investment, despite extensive statistical evidence to the contrary;
  • fails to recognize that reputation is any organization’s most important asset – and that threats to reputation (a) occur more frequently than physical threats but (b) can cause just as much (or more) damage, financially;
  • makes decisions that will impact reputation solely on the basis of legal advice, which is akin to make a legal decision based solely on advice from a crisis/reputation management expert; and/or,
  • insists that all critical communications flow through the CEO’s office long after an organization has grown too big to micromanage that way.

You can envision the wide variety of crises that can be spawned by any of these conditions – and they are all completely preventable.  If you’re a CEO who is honest enough to say, “Yeah, one or more of those descriptions fit me,” maybe it’s time to make a paradigm change in your approach to crisis management. Give us a call, let’s talk!

Jonathan Bernstein