School of Communication and Media
It is too easy, according to business consultant Laurence Barton, Ph.D., for businesses to operate on cruise control, sure of the familiarity of the road and without the protection of a current crisis response plan that could offer some protection for the bumps and hazards to come. Numerous researchers, however, are sounding the alarm. Without the sense of urgency of a 9/11-scale crisis, the number of organizations without current crisis plans in place is slowly decreasing, according to a 2005 American Management Association study. Yet the warning signs of uncharted territory ahead are everywhere. Organizations must prepare for new crises that may develop with the deepening interconnectedness of our global society. The test for new leadership may be the degree to which managers can step forward to identify and plan for new and emerging crises that may not have been considered in the previous century. This article highlights current best practices in crisis management and crisis communication. It also offers strategies organizational leaders can consider in order to adapt effectively to the new reality of a crisis-rich environment, which exists along with the challenges posed by 24/7 news coverage and the ever-present social media.
Journal of Executive Education