Most companies believe they are ready to face an operative or reputational crisis. Executives usually rely on heavy crisis handling books, previous theoretical lecturing or the proven experience of their leaders. That is the easiest way to failure.
As handbooks need to be updated, challenges and risks require a permanent revision. It is also important to keep track on members of the Crisis Committees – ensure the out-of-hours contacts for response teams are readily available. Don’t wait for a crisis to find that some people have already left the company or taken new responsibilities in other areas.
New threats to operations or reputation in the maritime industry come every year; contexts change and new social trends need to be assessed.
Not many could have expected a ship to block the Suez Canal and its seismic impact on global logistics. It happened without warning – as most things do – and nobody was ready to respond accordingly.
It may be a hostile attack on a vessel, or tragedy caused by a collision… But with the latent conflicts around the world getting explosive, and geopolitics never far from commercial shipping, a full review of crisis management is recommended.
A consistent training program for crisis handling is the best way of saving money and – and saving corporate reputations. Any review should include:
- Reassessing risks and challenges
- Reviewing local resources, contacts etc.
- Checking your Crisis Committee members: reviewing tasks and roles
- Learning new social trends – building awareness of social media platforms used in any crisis
- Reviewing past mistakes, examples of mishandling and proper handling of a maritime crisis
- And be sure to SIMULATE YOUR NEXT CRISIS
Simulating a crisis will bring new situations and prove the skills of your leaders. After experiencing an effective and innovative training simulation, new adjustments will have to be made to address challenges you hadn’t evaluated before. And above all it will stimulate leaders to keep improving.
Feeling what is ahead, not only thinking about it, will keep your collaborators ready to act once the real crisis comes.
Based in Buenos Aires, Santiago Peixoto is a partner at Identia PR, Navigate Response’s network partner in Argentina.