Crisis Management Is A Neverending Process

A cardinal rule of crisis management is that no crisis ever unfolds exactly as it was envisioned or planned for. For this reason, effective crisis management is a neverending process, not an event with a beginning and an end.

The early warnings signals associated with crises are not only different for different types of organizations, but are seldom perfectly clear.

A big difference exits between warning signals external to an organization and its industry and those internal to them.

Value A Power Of Denial, Anger, And Depression

One of the important lessons emerging from the still new field of crisis management is worth stressing. Denial, anger, and depression are powerful human emotions that are difficult to manage, particularly during a crisis. For this reason, organizations are well advised to raise their anxiety levels when they prepare for the worst, so that they will be able to cope when a real crisis occurs.

Every organization must attend only to crises that are well know to it and its industry, but to the many disasters that can now happen to any organization and all industries. Such an expanded list of crises is presented in Exhibit 54. This Exhibit differentiates between crises that arise within the organizational and those arise outside it (this distinction is critical).

Exhibit 55 also differentiates between crises causes by technical/economic breakdowns and those caused by people/social breakdowns. Exhibit 56 shows various causes of each type of crisis in Exhibit 55. Exhibit 57 shows the wide variety of actions organizations can take to prepare for, cope with, reduce the effects of, and recover from the various kinds of crises it has been identified.

Because it is ..."no longer a question of whether a major disaster will strike any organization, but only a matter of when, how, what form will it take , and who and how many will be affected " organizations must be aware of all the phases and steps involved in the entire process of crisis management. They also must be prepare for the simultaneous occurrence of crises.

Lack of understanding the entire process of crisis management can lead to the steps that almost guarantee an organization will experience a major crisis from which it will not recover (see Exhibit 54).


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