The only thing predictable about a crisis is that it will be unexpected. But unexpected doesn’t have to mean unprepared. Smart CEOs have a plan in place that helps alleviate the stress of the most likely scenarios that can disrupt the operations — and future — of the company. Here are three steps to get you started:
- Name a crisis team. Pick a small group of people with the right personality to keep cool in crisis. This is a team that will help identify areas where your company is vulnerable, be trained on your company’s responses, and when a crisis strikes will quickly evaluate the level of action required. In addition to people in your company, you’ll want to consider adding a member of your legal team and a public relations consultant.
- Identify scenarios. What are the most likely crisis scenarios for your company? Which of these scenarios would have the biggest impact on your company’s future? That’s where you start.
- Gather your passwords. While your plan will include numerous steps you can take in advance of a crisis situation, here’s one to do today: Gather the passwords to key company initiatives such as email marketing, employee email accounts and electronic customer service files. It’s likely that a key employee holds much of this important data, and you don’t want to be vulnerable if something happens to the keeper of the information.
As you set company priorities for 2015, let this be the year you put a crisis plan in place. The unexpected may still happen, but you’ll be better prepared.
Cindy Miller is the CEO of Cindy Miller Communications. Learn more about the company at www.CindyMillerCommunications.com.