Recent crises such as BP's Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and environmental catastrophe, News Corporation's phone hacking scandal and the Costa Concordia cruise ship sinking clearly identify the need for a crisis management planning system that can manage the adverse impacts of an escalating issue or accident. These crises also identify the need for the CEO and top management to buy-in and express their endorsement of crisis management planning, particularly related to training top executive teams.
In a major critical incident, the executive Crisis Management Team will have the highest authority across all corporate response actions - they will be the decision drivers that affect corporate governance, corporate image and the future of the business.
In light of executive planning, here is a checklist that identifies what needs to be in place to provide an orderly and efficient transition from normal to a crisis situation:
- Is there an Executive Crisis Management Plan?
- Is the Plan up-to-date and does the Crisis Management Team know its role and responsibilities?
- Does the Team include primary and back-up team members for operations, emergency interface, public affairs and media management, environmental, health and safety, legal, finance and security?
- Have worst case scenario threats been identified? Are there checklists to manage these?
- Have systems been confirmed to notify key stakeholders?
- Has a crisis communication strategy been confirmed?
- Have arrangements been made to communicate with employees?
- Is there a designated crisis management room and support rooms?
- Is there a clear interface with other State and Federal offices and sites?
- Has the Crisis Management Plan been tested at least half yearly?
- Are exercises conducted on an annual basis?
- Are critical events debriefed and are the learnings added to the Crisis Management Plan?
Uncontrolled crises can cause serious property damage, lawsuits, skyrocketing insurance premiums, loss of market share, brand, employee concern and interrupted workflow. Corporate leaders need to be sure that the organisation, its stakeholders and the community, are protected at the best possible level.
With an Executive Crisis Plan, you can.