Get Specific

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    If I were to ask you if your company or organization had a crisis plan, more than likely you would answer, “Yes.” That’s because managers are increasingly becoming aware of the need to be prepared when something goes wrong.

    On the other hand, if I were to ask if your crisis plan stipulates detailed steps to be taken in each of a number of very specific situations at various levels of severity, I’d be willing to bet your answer would be “No.” That’s because far too many crisis plans are generic rather than specific in nature, that is, the plans refer to what to do in a crisis or emergency in general as if one size fits all. Well, it doesn’t.

    This quote, from an article by Carole Gorney of The Cline Group, describes a common finding when a crisis manager begins to work with an organization. As the article states, every organization is vulnerable to many types of crises, and they are often varied enough to require customized crisis management plans. Although there will always be disasters that you simply could not have seen coming, taking the time to sit and brainstorm not only on every likely possibility but also detailed ways to handle those possibilities, will make your crisis planning infinitely more effective.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]