As the old saying goes, the proper preparation will only get you so far. No matter how careful you are, how much time you have taken to consider every possible scenario, or how precise the information you have at your disposal is, accidents will happen.
For instance, you might be walking down the street when suddenly, a car driven by a drunk driver collides into a light post, and the falling debris causes you harm. In cases like these, your best course of action is to hire the services of a well-respected team of professional personal injury lawyers. They will provide you with the assistance you need in such an unfortunate event and make sure you are well-represented.
From a business perspective, the same is true as it is impossible to be ready for everything that might be thrown at your organization. Still, there are certain steps you can take to minimize corporate disasters from taking place, steps that can ultimately result in your firm either going bankrupt or being able to keep its head above water and continue treading along.
In addition, you can also put in place the right strategies to deal with crises in the best possible manner and make sure their effects are as minimal as they can be.
Let us look at some of them.
Timing is Everything
Most crisis management experts will tell you that the first few minutes after a catastrophe are the most important ones. It is in these moments where your decisions are most crucial, and a wrong move could result in extreme consequences for many. An example of this is a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood.
Sadly, regardless of how much climatological technology has developed, it is still impossible to predict when an earthquake will hit with more than a few seconds to spare. As such, one cannot prepare for the damage at hand. Yet, as history has taught us, we can still be ready by having an earthquake bag either at home or our place of work, an exit strategy, a place where we can gather with our loved ones, and a basic knowledge of first aid.
Likewise, in a corporate calamity such as a physical security breach or an instance of cybercrime, there needs to be a “minutes after” crisis management plan of action that not only allows the organization to lessen the damage but also puts employees at ease by letting them know that the enterprise has mechanisms to deal with this kind of event.
You Live and Learn
Many scholars credit The Court and Character of King James written by Anthony Weldon in 1651 as the first place the common proverb “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” appeared. Whether this is true or not may vary based on whom you speak to. Nevertheless, one cannot argue its validity. If you let the same person or entity take advantage of you on more than one occasion, you have no one to blame but yourself.
In business, those who make it learn from the negative things that happen to them. And the best way to do this is not to let them happen again. This is achieved by actions including:
- Understanding the reasons behind the crisis, namely why it happened and who or what was mostly at fault.
- Measuring the extent of the damage caused by it.
- Putting in place the necessary systems to prevent it from happening again.
- Analyzing and forecasting the probability of similar situations taking place.
These are four of the most important steps all organizations can take in a post-crisis scenario.
Regret is something all human beings experience in life. Some regret the schools they chose to enroll in or having studied the wrong major. For others, it’s about decisions involving career or personal relationships. Whatever the case may be, dwelling on the things you did or failed to do does not create solutions. Instead, it could lead to more errors and not thinking clearly.
No matter the loss, be it financial or otherwise, at some point, your organization needs to move forward. It needs to regroup, make the necessary changes, and move on. While this is far from easy, especially for smaller firms with limited resources, in most cases, other opportunities will come, other instances where the enterprise can flourish.
Moving on is not about forgetting what happened but rather incorporating this experience into a wealth of knowledge that will guide future organizational decisions.
In a crisis, it is imperative to act quickly and effectively. Your company should also implement measures to prevent this from happening again. Having done that, it is time to accept what happened, carry on, and think about the future.