The following short test is a suitable way of evaluating how well your company is prepared to handle a crisis. If the majority of the answers is “NO”, you should take action as soon as possible:
- Crisis anticipation brainstorm: do you frequently (at least twice a year) gather with your team to brainstorm on all potential crises which could occur in your organization?
- Crisis team: have you identified a crisis team within your organization? These are experienced members of your company who can be appointed to handle the crisis internally and externally?
- Has the crisis team or any other dedicated people in the company written specific procedures for tackling a crisis? E.g. How to manage/evaluate the impact on production, safety, sales, HR, etc.?
- The spokesperson: have you identified who will be the spokesperson addressing various stakeholders, internally and externally. Has this person recently received a refresher training, in particular on current issues?
- Communication channels and tools: do you know exactly which tools are to be used by which stakeholders in times of crisis? From social media to text messages, email-addresses, videoconferencing apps, etc.?
- Stakeholders: do you know exactly who your internal and external stakeholders are? Are you sure you did not forget any of them?
- Key messages developments: do you have documents which contain the key messages you want to communicate during different types of crises?
Many organizations still do not have a crisis management culture. It can be very useful to take an expert temporarily on board to help your organization to be prepared in times of crisis.