Bud Light. Disney. Mars Wrigley. Dilbert. The Super Mario Bros movie. Victoria’s Secret. Utah’s proposed new state flag. BlackRock. The U.S. military. Legos. Jack Daniels. Even Chick-fil-A. Accusations of “wokeness” have been flung far and wide so far in 2023. Is your company next? Are you ready? Defining “woke” is about as easy as folding … Read more

The dust from the wreckage of FTX’s collapse doesn’t have time to settle before it’s stirred up again. The latest revelation – that one of the world’s most “admired” cryptocurrency exchanges was comically terrible at both IT security (the “crypto” part) and tracking funds (the “currency” part) – should keep the dust billowing for a … Read more

Many organizations seek efficiencies during times of economic uncertainty. For many executives, “efficiency” equates to reducing costs. Two of the most tried and true methods of reducing costs are eliminating headcount and cutting back on support services that do not generate revenue. Frequently, chasing these kinds of efficiencies means that you are also eliminating your … Read more

I was recently asked if I had any prediction for the “next thing” in crisis management for 2023. Without hesitation, I replied, “Systems failures.” 2022 ended with two epic system failures, and they threw a bright light on the potentially devastating impacts of scrimping on IT investment or failing to modernize operational practices and the … Read more

I’ll bet every one of us has said something like, “I kept telling them this was going to happen, but I guess it just fell on deaf ears.” Their ears were tuned to another stimulus.  German biologist Jakob von Uexküll defined the unique sensory environment an animal experiences as its umwelt. It is a “self-in-world” … Read more

If you’re ever looking for a way to kill a conversation, raise the specter of litigation. It’s more effective at ending a conversation than feigning death, belting out “Don’t Stop Believing” or pulling the fire alarm. Worries over litigation can stymie productive discussions over how to proceed strategically during a crisis. This worry – very … Read more

Expiry date on a jar of peanut butter

A friend of mine just returned to his office for the first time in more than two years. It was exactly how he left it – albeit cleaner – when he abruptly left work on a Thursday afternoon in March 2020 to retrieve his sick kid from school. He stayed home with the kiddo Friday. … Read more

Old metal wheel

Like my Kith colleagues, I cut my proverbial teeth in politics. Not as a candidate, but as a campaign staffer and, later, a political consultant. Campaigns are great places to train for reputation management and crisis communications because everything is a crisis. The latest mud your opponent threw at you is a crisis.  A campaign … Read more

Woman sitting with person standin behind covering her eyes

“You have not observed, and yet you have seen.” – Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia Pattern recognition is a superpower of strategic communicators. In the midst of a crisis, we have the ability to connect the dots out of a cacophony of signals, personalities and data. We see a pattern. We recognize it as … Read more

slow down to speed up

Speed is critical to success in a crisis but speed alone isn’t the answer – you need speed that’s based on an understanding of your core values and chain of command. Speed for the sake of speed leads to mistakes, inaccuracies, and rambling responses that get you into deeper trouble, not help pull you out. Instead, take some time to be clear, accurate, and brief. It requires additional time but helps you speed up in the end.