Don’t Panic: Crisis Management Plans by Megan Murphy
Last week we talked about how things have changed since the pandemic, and another topic I think we should discuss is Crisis Management Plans. The world was irrevocably changed two years ago when most of us hadn’t even heard of COVID-19, let alone fathom the troubling effect it would have on business.
It doesn’t have to be COVID-19, as I touched on previously. It could be a natural disaster, mismanagement, major accident, or cyber attack. Those are just a few crises that could affect your business at any time!
But don’t worry, there is a simple and effective way to go about making a plan that can save you from future headaches.
Photo Credit: Asana.com
There are six general steps to making a plan that sticks.
Establish a Team
You want to assign people to your Crisis Management Team (CMT) that will be able to help with identifying potential emergencies or calamities; those who can stick to the procedure, and keep morale up while said emergency is occurring. You’ll also want team members who can communicate well and train others in the event that something happens to your business.
Assess the risk
Once you’ve established your crisis management team, you’ll want to predict the situation’s impact on your business. Consider your financial needs here. What will happen to your business’s cash flow? Will investors or stakeholders be affected? How will it hurt your team members? Customers? Affiliates? Will you lose anything non-financial? Files? Credentials? Assets?
Determine the impact
Once you’ve assessed the possible outcomes, now you should find ways to mitigate the results. For example, how could some negative impacts be neutralized? Are there any contingencies you can identify?
Plan the Response
Create your plan. Make sure your plan includes as many scenarios and details as possible, so you’re not “scrambling” to figure out any hiccups later!
Solidify your Plan
Make sure everyone on your CMT has a copy and knows their part in the response. Consider everyone’s thoughts on the issues at hand. Once everyone is on board, start writing!
Review and Update
The last and most important piece to having a solid Crisis Management Plan is to regularly (yearly or quarterly) review and update your plan so everyone on your team is on board and aware. Make as many changes as needed.
I know it’s uncomfortable to talk about, think about, or plan for, but these pitfalls could create more significant issues along the way, if not immediately. That’s why you need to have a cohesive, well-thought-through plan in the reserves so that when disaster strikes, you and your staff are ready to keep everything afloat!