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Pivotal trends for the future of crisis management thinking

On Thursday 18th September 2014, Steelhenge convened the second annual one-day Crisis Management Conference at 200 Aldersgate in St Pauls, London with the theme ‘Coherent Crisis Management; Preparedness, Response and Communications’.

The day commenced with the official launch of the new British Standard in Crisis Management, BS 11200, delivered by the UK Cabinet Office and the British Standards Institution. A distinguished programme of speakers followed this with representatives from Network Rail, O2 Telefonica, the John Lewis Partnership, the BBC, Cranfield University and UBS speaking candidly about their experience in implementing Crisis Preparedness, Crisis Response and Crisis Communication to a capacity international audience of nearly 200 delegates.

Key themes to emerge were:

The value of being prepared
The need to be continually prepared was reinforced repeatedly by the speakers. This includes creating policy, procedures, defined roles and responsibilities, identifying crisis leaders plus training and rehearsing through exercises.

Triggers and escalation
The speed at which a crisis is recognised and can be escalated to the strategic decision makers will have a significant effect on the outcome of the crisis for an organization.

Communication remains critical in times of crisis, not only with external stakeholders but also internally. The importance of consistency in messaging was also emphasised.

It is essential to achieve a coherent crisis response at all levels and in all aspects of informing, knowing, directing, doing, thinking and saying. The left hand of an organization must know what the right hand is doing.

Identifying lessons via a formal process of post-incident review is important; ensuring those lessons identified become lessons learned through change is crucial.

Many organizations are moving towards the concept of resilience, which creates a culture of awareness, preparedness and adaptability at all levels, to support crisis management.

Value and reputation
The opportunity cost of investing in crisis preparedness is protected value, enhanced reputation and commercial competitiveness; all of which are at stake in a crisis.

Conference chairman and managing director of Steelhenge, Dominic Cockram, said, “Following the success of last year’s inaugural conference, I am delighted that CMC 2014 has lived up to all expectations. The speakers were consistently top draw, the feedback from delegates has been overwhelmingly positive and many have commented on the incomparable value offered in being able to exchange views and experiences with fellow crisis management professionals from a variety of sectors.”

Read the full post conference report here (PDF).

•Date: 17th October 2014 • UK •Type: Article • Topic: Crisis management

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