Practice makes perfect is cliche for a reason. We all accept that it takes repetition and training to be good at anything, but in spite of this we’ve seen certain concerning behavior repeated throughout our 30+ years of experience:
- Many organizations still don’t plan or train for crises at all, either rolling the dice that their “crisis number” doesn’t come up and/or wrongly assuming that they can “wing it” because of their combined skills.
- Even when organizations have gone to the effort (and cost) of developing or even getting initial training in the use of business continuity or crisis communications plans, most still engage in little to no ongoing training thereafter.
- Most organizations go through periods of significant personnel turnover and major operational changes, all of which can require modification of existing crisis plans and then re-training. The former happens sometimes, the latter – not so often!
- Too many organizations continue to turn incidents into crises, and minor crises into major ones, because their people simply aren’t ready to rumble.
If you could choose to know – in advance – how you’re going to handle your own nightmare scenario, and that your team can handle it, why wouldn’t you? Crisis training just makes sense.
[Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is vice president for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]
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