On Wednesday 21st March 2017, Khalid Masood carried out a devastating terror attack in Westminster, London. Five people died, more than 50 were injured, and London came to a near standstill as the police put transport links on lockdown.
Some 12 years earlier London was rocked by the London bombings that took 52 lives and injured more than 700 people. Terror attacks tend to come to mind when we think of a crisis, but there are many more examples – financial crisis, natural disaster, workplace violence, and more.
A crisis is a situation that is unpredictable, but not unexpected. That means to some extent plans can be put in place to manage them if they do happen. Clearly these plans are typically broad and have a number of contingency plans within them to manage the unpredictable nature of a crisis. However, the key takeaway is that planning for a crisis is not only useful, but also incredibly important.
Many organisations realise that crisis management is so important that they hire in external consultants who have an abundance of knowledge in this space. There is an industry standard set of documents and processes deemed to be key to the success of crisis management:
When there is a crisis it not only might pose a serious risk to employees, but also impact on the operations of the business. Just because a crisis is unpredictable does not mean it is unexpected. This means that there is proactive planning that can be undertaken to make what might seem like the unmanageable that bit more manageable.
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