Crisis Management: Managing the Stormy Seas of Business
Updated: Sep 6
Business leaders are like captains of a ship. They work to chart a course that will maximize profitability and avoid loss. They work to keep things calm and moving forward. It can be hard work.
However, in an ever changing business climate it is unrealistic to think that company leaders will never face a setback. They don’t have to wait for stormy seas to hit in order to react. There are some things that can be done to batten down the hatches when the business seas are calm that will be lifesavers when the seas become choppy.
Like the sea captain surveying the horizon for looming danger, a business leader can identify potential business crises and develop strategies to respond to them.
A business crisis is an internal or external event that has the potential to threaten the success of a company. It has three elements that distinguish it from the normal problems that are solved on a daily basis:
The problem poses a threat to the company.
There is an element of surprise. The event was not expected.
The issue forces the business to make a quick decision.
Developing a framework for crisis management before anything happens makes organizations more agile, enabling them to gain the benefits that can come from overcoming a difficult situation. Often crises are the mother of innovation. Just think about our last crisis. COVID brought about innovations in the way people work and meet with one another.
How an organization moves through a crisis can impact its culture well into the future. Crafting the response to a crisis needs to have input from people throughout the organization Just like a ship needs its crew, a business needs a team focused on guiding all stakeholders through the storm.
Think of the movies after a crew has fended off a pirate ship. The crew cheers and celebrates that they have saved the ship. Coming through a business storm successfully can build trust and cohesion like that of a ship’s crew. This can lead to greater productivity and employee satisfaction.
Our next blog will take you step by step in how to build a crisis management plan BEFORE the crisis hits.