The Chinese character for crisis has to do with both danger and opportunity. This profound observation is so pregnant with meaning, and the Chinese language is so powerful, that this has almost become a quotation in its own right. A crisis is indeed something that is both a danger and an opportunity. However, in much of the consulting that we do, organizations look at crises, in ways that are threatening them, much more in the sense of danger. And it is our job as crisis management consultants, to help these organizations foresee the potential dangers that may arise to their organization before, during, and after a crisis.
A Few Basic Steps in Crisis Management Consulting
Among the basic steps in crisis management are the follows. First and foremost, an assessment of the potential threats that are faced by your organization must be made. If your company is operating abroad, whether in developed countries such as Belgium or developing countries such as Saudi Arabia, you may be facing many different kinds of threats. The reality, however, when it comes to crises, is that they may occur in countries of any type. Recent unfortunate events in Paris, France, showed how even in Western Europe political and terrorist crises can occur. Similarly, the immigration crisis in Western Europe is yet another example of how crises know and respect no geographic boundaries. For this reason it is important to assess the potential threats to your organization from a 360° perspective. Second, an inventory and audit must be made about the organization and your capabilities. Some organizations are very well prepared against all types of crises, some are not at all prepared for crises, and most fall somewhere in the middle.
- We will work with you to assess both the threats that your organization faces, and your organizational capabilities to respond to them.
Third, plans must be made in advance for all types of crises. By working with a true international security expert, your organization will be much more prepared than it would be if you only use your internal resources. We bring to the table both an external perspective and an immense amount of experience and knowledge that will help us not only imagine potential types of crises but also outline the different responses that could be made.
Returning to the Chinese language, one way to look at this is that before a crisis happens you have the opportunity to prepare for it. If you let this opportunity slide through your fingers, you may confront an unimaginable danger to your organization or your employees after the crisis occurs. Crises come in many shapes and sizes, and it is our job to help you both foresee and prepare for all of them.
If your organization is looking for a relationship with a consulting firm with deep expertise in terms of crises management, in particular with respect to international exposure, please reach out to us for a consultation.