Coming through COVID-19, every time we think of crisis we think of something of the magnitude of a global pandemic. Thankfully, we don’t experience these very often; indeed, this is the first of its kind in my life! Nevertheless, we have learned a thing or two and scrambled to put crisis management in place.
What are some keys?
- Without living in fear, keep your eyes open to potential threats and challenges to your business. The military calls this DefCon 1.
- Once you see a crisis forming, analyze its severity; we use the DefCon system, Levels 1-5.
- Engage the appropriate people in a Crisis Management Team. Make sure they have the right perspective, knowledge, expertise, and decision making authority. It’s not going to always be the senior executive team.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be transparent and real. People need the facts.
- Encourage, encourage, encourage. Facts alone will clarify but they will bring little in the way of motivation and caring.
- Listen to your people. They need a voice.
- Depending on the severity, do the things that must be done to keep the company healthy. Sometimes, these will be very difficult things.
- Don’t forget to serve. There will be many around you that need you more than ever. Your employees. Your customers. Your vendors. Your community. Perhaps even your competitors.
- Follow a pre-developed crisis management plan. Don’t wait until there’s a problem to plan.
- Trust God. In the midst of all of whatever we’re facing now or what your company may face in the future, regardless of the DefCon level, remember that there is a God and He cares for you!