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Crisis Management, WavySys brief

Eloi, 11/03/2020

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Crisis Management, WavySys brief​

Editor’s note: the fast-changing pace of the current Covid-19 situation, is bringing an increasing level of uncertainty, especially in the tourism market, therefore including the yacht charter market. As part of our Community, we are giving you a WavySys brief on crisis management. We only kept the very essential to make it quick and easy to integrate on your side. 

-The WavySys Team-

Did you say crisis?

 

If you had asked me about “crisis”, I would probably have answered tsunami, tornado, bushfires or earthquakeAnd this is true, these are crises but there exists many types of crises such as political crises, economic crises, refugee crisis and so on. But, “Business Crisis” is also a type of crisis, happening very frequently if you ask me. But it just doesn’t come into mind when thinking of a crisis. 

Business crises can affect any corporation no matter their size, resources or industry. And if not well managed, your company could get hurt in the long-term. 

Maybe you think, that your company only counts 5 employees and doesn’t see the point in being prepared for a crisis, especially that you are selling strawberries. No big deal you’d tell me. Or maybe you think that the company you work for is part of the top 10 most powerful corporations in the world and therefore is protected, which might be true but only because they have strong crisis management processes

But let’s first get back to the basics, what is a business crisis? 

What is a business crisis?

A business crisis is an event, a hazard, that you can usually not clearly foreseen. This event has the potential to seriously harm your business, either in terms of reputation, production, revenues, employees and much more. Yes, having a team of workers killed in an accident happens and undeniably results in a crisis. 

As said before, a crisis is difficult to predict, although there are some early warning signs. But you need to be able to see these warnings, and no matter your company size or resources, you can be hit. What if your 5-employee strawberry company was to be hurt because the heavy rains have flooded your fields and therefore can’t pay your expenses and then your employees subpoenaed you because they didn’t get paid? What would you do then if you are not ready? 

And this is the same with big companies. Let’s take some real examples: 2015, Volkswagen cheated on its emissions; 2008 Lehman Brothers goes bankrupt, 2017 Apple deliberately slowed down its machines, 2017, Samsung and its battery explosions on the Galaxy Note 7. 

As you can see, there exists a multitude of reasons or causes that can throw your company down the hole. 

Crisis life cycle

The crisis life cycle is made of three phases. 

The first phase is the Pre-Crisis. It is during this phase that you are preparing processes and plans in order to get as close as possible to get ready when a crisis comes. For example, it is setting up a crisis management plan, team training, delegation plans in case of emergencies and so on… We will come back to crisis management in a simplified way so you can quickly get started. Indeed, crisis management is a skill in itself. 

As we are writing this post, Coronavirus has reached most of the world region and is starting to have real damage to businesses because of the consequences this virus creates. Read our previous post here

The second phase is the Crisis Management and Response. It is when the crisis is actually happening and how to deal with it and respond to it using what has been done in phase one. 

The third and last phase is the Post-Crisis. Make no mistake, it is not because the crisis is over that your work is done. After the crisis, or during the post-crisis phase, you need to remain available and evaluate how your processes panned out.v

Crisis management plan

7 questions you can ask yourself to better prepare yourself for a crisis:

  1. What are the different types of crisis possible? 
  2. What crisis are most likely to happen in your industry/business? 
  3. For each of these crises, what are the steps and different actions you need to take? 
  4. Who is involved? For what crisis? 
  5. Do you have a resolution plan for each of the possible crises? 
  6. Did you train your teams to respond to such crises? 
  7. Are you planning to update your plans whenever necessary? 

Browsing the web, you’ll find many methods and templates to help you prepare for crisis management. But often they are complex and difficult to apprehend without proper training. As we are writing in the context of an actual crisis (Covid-19), we simplified it so you can quickly assess your own situation.

Now,

Don’t forget that being trained to deal with business crises helps you maintain your reputation, competitive positioning and avoid long-lasting damage such as huge debts or legal issues. Think also about the well being at the workplace with employees working knowing they are processes to protect them in case of such scenarios. Finally, your crisis management plan helps get everyone back on track quickly

The WavySys Community, stronger together, let's share useful information.

We wish here to be as useful as possible for our WavySys Community. We know that some of you are more or less ready to face such situations and that’s why make it as simple as possible to understand and to put into practice

Crises are real and can happen to anyone. They are usually difficult to see coming and can sometimes be surprising due to their “randomness” aspect. Crisis management usually requires experts or proper hard training. But if you don’t have any, you can use this article to do your best and quickly get started. 

In the next article, we will show you a concrete example of the current situation. Available soon!

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