leadership and management

Crisis leader + crisis manager = a critical partnership

Critical takeaways Crisis Leaders and Crisis Managers are different roles but both are required for crisis success. Understanding the differences between the two roles – and how they complement each other – will help build a powerful partnership Here are three key distinctions between the two roles to help you select and prepare the right […]

long term sign

Crisis simulations as planning tools

Critical takeaways Simulations are the most valuable planning and preparedness tool available to an organization and should be a routine part of every company’s training regimen. We are now investigating how to use simulations as planning tools to help organizations develop contingency plans and scenarios for future challenges. Outlined here are four principles to help […]

shell shocked business woman

Overcoming shell shock in a crisis

Critical takeaways ‘Shell shock’ is the effect of trauma on individuals leading to paralysis and an inability to think and act effectively. We see similar results in boardrooms where a crisis causes the company to freeze.
 Our formula for crisis success – Core Values + Chain Of Command = Speed – can help overcome boardroom […]

Black Box Theory

Black Box Theory

Critical Takeaways It is easy to attribute crisis success as simply being lucky when in fact companies have earned this ‘luck’ through hard work and preparedness. A concept in sailing is that of a ‘black box’ into which a Captain deposits ‘points’. They can then draw on these points to give them a little bit […]

Patagonia sign

The Risk of Patagonia Envy

Critical takeaways When asked about “high reputation” firms, one that always comes to mind is the outdoor retailer Patagonia which has a very high reputation due to its commitment and authenticity to its mission. You can learn a lot from Patagonia but don’t just copy their approach: a good reputation is based on being authentic […]

noahs arc

Noah and Augustine: a crisis history lesson

Critical takeaways The story of Noah’s Ark reminds us of the need to actually take action in response to risk. This story is quoted in a 1995 HBR article by Norm Augustine who lays out six points for crisis success based on his experiences in government and business. Despite the article’s age, Augustine’s six points […]

typing op-ed

Courage and conviction in crafting an op-ed

Critical takeaways Op-eds are a powerful way of telling your story in a crisis and should be in every communicator’s tool kit. Op-eds written by a committee will fail to make your points clearly. Communications should write the piece with input from the subject matter expert. This guidance note is based on our experience using […]

edge of crisis

Crisis on the edge – Part II

Critical takeaways Nature doesn’t have clear-cut edges and neither do crises. Taking an edgeless, long-term view of a crisis improves our ability to learn after an event and also helps us prepare and improve our actions beforehand. Here are five ways that an ‘edgeless’ mindset will help you better prepare and give you a significant […]

crisis edges

Crisis Edges

Critical takeaways Situations in nature that appear to have clear edges are often more complex and blurry at the boundaries. This is the same in a crisis where there isn’t as clear a start and end as we might think. Thinking about crises as ‘edgeless’ allows us to learn more which improves our crisis response […]

infinite games

Crises as infinite games

Critical takeaways Infinite games are games where the objective is to excel and to pursue a worthy goal over the long term. Finite games with set structures and a winner/loser are limiting and ill-suited to long-term success. These two ideas are encapsulated in Simon Sinek’s book The Infinite Game and Sinek’s ‘infinite’ mindset is very […]