Risk Mitigation and Crisis Management

Risk and Crisis situations are a "fact of life” for organizations and those who lead them. The adage that it is not “if” but rather “when” a crisis happens, is unfortunately experienced by most.

Organizations differ with respect to their approach to Risk Mitigation and Crisis Management. Some organizations are proactive while others are reactive. Proactive organizations spend time evaluating possible risks, threats, and vulnerabilities, and prioritizing them; developing mitigation and response plans; and training their staff (and stakeholders) in threat detection and crisis response. Reactive organizations tend to wait until a threat is identified and then react based on experience, and ad-hoc decisions.

Not surprisingly, proactive organizations tend to fare better in the long term (on several metrics). The benefit for smaller and mid-sized organizations (where there may not be departments responsible for handling crises) is that the organization and its leaders are free to focus on growth and development rather than "putting out fires.

Risk and concommittant crises come in different shapes and forms and are related to the categories we typically outline:

  1. People related: actions or conduct of people internal to the organization (staff, leadership, various internal stakeholders) or external to the organization (clients, vendors, guests, etc.). These types of crisis often involve financial, ethical/reputational crises, workplace violence, “defection” to competing organizations, abuse of power by managers, and more.
  2. Process related: breakdown of a process critical to the company such as supply chain disruption (problems with vendors, etc.), lack of compliance with industry specific rules and regulations, breakdown of internal communication patterns, disruption of business processes (manufacturing, research and development, quality control, etc.), cybercrime, and more.
  3. Places (infrastructure and technology) related: situations or events that cause a disruption in operations such as extreme weather, environmental events, fire, critical infrastructure disruption (no utilities: internet, phone service, power), IT failures, etc.

The longer the crisis continues without an intentional organized response, the more disruptive it becomes to the organization in terms of lost productivity, morale, and distraction from primary business objectives.

How we help:

  • Helping implement a risk and crisis response program (with an emphasis on workforce related risks).
  • Establishing an organizational culture of proactive risk mitigation and crisis preparedness.
  • Crisis Management: Assistance to management on structuring the crisis response.
  • Post incident responses (death, suicide, other serious incidents): individual and team meetings, organizational support services, “lessons learned”.
  • Psychological First Aid (adults and adolescents): immediate crisis services following traumatic situations.
  • Aftermath management: team rebuilding, organizational culture review, support services, community support and guidance.

Please read this article as well as this one to learn more.

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