[Editor’s note: Tony Jaques, our friend, colleague, and frequent contributor to our blogs has just released a new book on crisis management, and we’d like to share his introduction to this in-depth work with you.]
Companies which think they are crisis-prepared may in fact still be dangerously vulnerable to financial and reputational damage.
That’s the conclusion of Australian author and crisis expert Dr Tony Jaques, who says it is increasingly clear that while some organisations establish very basic procedures to respond to a crisis when it strikes, many are failing to take a strategic approach to preventing the crisis from happening in the first place.
“The real danger comes when organisations believe all that’s needed to protect them from a damaging crisis is a three-ring crisis manual on the shelf and an annual crisis simulation” he warns. “Research involving Australian CEOs showed a unanimous acceptance that the best crisis management it to take proactive steps to prevent a crisis occurring, yet companies consistently fail to implement effective crisis prevention.”
Dr Jaques says a ten year study of crises in Australia revealed that more than a quarter of the organisations concerned did not survive. That fact alone is a good reason for executives to introduce systematic plans to reduce the chances of a crisis occurring before it happens. At the same time, he added, international data shows that at least half of all crises are not sudden, unexpected events, but result from slowly emerging crises which could have, and should have been identified in advance.
The need for a fully integrated programme both to be prepared for a crisis, and also to identify emerging crises and prevent them occurring, is a key theme of a new book Issue and Crisis Management: Exploring issues, crises, risk and reputation by Tony Jaques, (Oxford University Press, 2014).
The book is the first of its kind in Australia devoted wholly to issue and crisis management, and highlights the difference between tactical crisis response and integrated strategic crisis management.
Tony Jaques manages Australian-based issue and crisis management consultancy Issue}Outcomes, and is the author of the upcoming book, Issues and Crisis Management: Exploring Issues, Crises, Risk and Reputation, available at most major retailers both in the U.S. and abroad.