capitol usa crisis

Preparing for Risk

January 20, 2021

We’ve all been watching the news and seen the recent violence that has happened in D.C.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about this through the frame of crisis and crisis response and what organizations should do. In fact, I was speaking about this on a panel and was joined by an intelligence analyst.

The intelligence analyst brought up a very unique point that there was a lack of imagination when it came to thinking about the risks and threats presented by those coming to D.C.

Because although this was a very serious event, there is definitely something that can be learned from it for organizations of all sizes.

One of the things we’ve helped organizations do is practice and plan for crises through simulations. As we create these custom simulations, they aren’t built upon the premise of the odd edge cases happening. We aren’t planning for Martians invading or something crazy like that.

We are talking about going beyond the common things like a data breach and really having the creative ability to look at the kinds of situations that would test and tax your organization. Most of the time organizations are “too close” to be able to see these kinds of potential crises. Our unique outside perspective gives us the advantage to see these threats and also create unique simulations around them.

I like to think about risk in terms of its likelihood and its impact. The most critical risks you must be prepared for are the ones that are highly likely and would have a big impact on your operations, your people, or your reputation. But my experience with the intelligence analyst reminded me that we also need to plan for the risks that have a low likelihood of occurring but a high impact. Like an angry mob overwhelming your security perimeter. Use your imagination, and think about what would have a high impact even though it isn’t that likely. Be realistic, but be imaginative to prepare for the unknown.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can be ready for the crisis challenges coming your way, I encourage you to check out our simulations here and schedule a call. We’ll discuss your organization and what kinds of simulations would be best for you.

Ultimately we want to give you the skills and tools to test and measure your organization’s ability to handle a realistic threat and be more prepared for the future.

Filed under: Blog | Crisis Planning


Bill is a reputation management, crisis communications and professional development expert, keynote speaker, Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance panelist, and best-selling author of Critical Moments: The New Mindset of Reputation Management. He has more than 25 years of global experience managing high-stakes crises, issues management, and media relations challenges for both Fortune 500 companies and winning global political campaigns.