Client - Crisis Management Services
Thursday, 10th December 2020
Trident Manor continues to provide crisis management services to UK and international clients that are sensible, pragmatic, and effective. What is our secret?
Over the past few years there seems to have been an increased number of crisis that companies and organisations have had to face. These have come from environmental sources, adversarial threats, and of course disease in the form of the COVID pandemic. Approaches and responses have differed greatly as have the results and impacts on organisations.
A crisis for one organisation may be an opportunity for another, and organisations will have different trigger points at which a ‘crisis’ is identified, or not. Trident Manor has found that a common problem is that there is either a lack of planning around crisis or, where plans exist, they are generic in nature and don’t really help and support resilience and recovery.
Our approach to crisis management is simple, we want to proactively prepare clients to be able to handle a crisis situation. This normally involves an evaluation of risk tolerances, critical assets, critical operations, and existing levels of preparedness.
There is a four stage approach that we adopt:
During this stage we work with clients to understand the following:
- Organisational structure
- Local or global footprint
- Operational style and characteristics
- Risk management approach
- Level of preparedness
- Incident management approach
This allows an organisational specific understanding of what is viewed as a crisis, and how they would handle it. This process also identifies whether due to the operational activities or global footprint, localised crisis planning is needed.
In the analysis process intelligence should be created. This is not ‘James Bond’ stuff but processed information that allows informed business decisions to be taken. The intelligence is created through a well establish process, ‘The Intelligence Cycle’.
As a result of undertaking this stage (Analysis) the following should be known:
- Threats (including internal ones)
- Risk the threats pose (if necessary where)
- Assets and their criticality
- Vulnerabilities that exist (including a lack of planning)
- What is required to support the crisis management approach.
It must be remembered that as a part of best international risk management practises this stage should be under continuous review. The assessing, evaluation, and analysis of events enable a more accurate and proactive management as opposed to a reactive response.
Preparing for a crisis is the most time consuming stage as it brings together all of the information gained during the first stage and sets about the planning and creation of governance that the organisation will use during a crisis. The plans should be risk based and organisation specific and should clearly identify the following:
- Approval and authorisation of plans
- Organisational understanding/definition of a ‘Crisis’.
- Clearly defined escalation process (including trigger points/levels)
- Roles and responsibilities
- Crisis response actions
- Store and equipment requirements (including medical, communications etc.)
- Post incident actions
The nature of the organisation and risks it faces could be so benign that the only thing required is a single document that requires little content when compared to an organisation that has multiple sites, including in conflict areas and needs several site specific plans.
Once the plan has been prepared it then must be put to use. By putting a plan to use I don’t mean leaving it on a shelf gathering dust, that is a paper dust gatherer. To be able to put it to use the final stage of preparation should always be Training and Educating staff on what it is, why you have it, what is expected, and by whom.
Anybody who has a role or is expected to deliver a service during a crisis must be informed of their role and organisational expectations. This could involve everything from briefings (for general awareness) through to tabletop and full blown exercises.
The more organisations train the better they are during the response and recovery phases due to increased competence, knowledge and understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Subject to the level of preparation and training that the organisation and the ability to proactively identify emerging threats and situational escalation the response phase should be the implementation of the crisis management plan. As strange as it sounds there are few crisis situations that happen so suddenly that the event comes as a surprise and progress from the event occurring to crisis level.
There is however a need to implement the crisis management plan as a part of that plan is the collection, collation, and analysis of data upon which informed decisions are made. Therefore the receipt of accurate and timely information during crisis is critical to the response that is given.
Additional resources may be required, and things may not run as smoothly as the plan outlined; don’t worry that is normal because the prediction of human or natural behaviour is extremely difficult. The most important thing is a proactive response.
The crisis response may be short term (subject to the crisis event) or it may be protracted and as such it is important to consider the mental and physical wellbeing of the crisis team and broader staff members. Staff directly involved in the incident management can fluctuate and generally speaking will reduce as the situation normalises or deescalates, however flexibility must be shown and if necessary additional resources may be required even though a situation improves.
The response phase ends when normal activities resume.
This phase can involve the following:
- Physical materials
- Operational support
- Medical care
- Pastoral support
- Additional organisational support
It must always involve:
- Reflective review
- Planning review
- Meeting duty of care obligations.
There should never be a rush during the recovery stage except where safety, security and operational abilities are concerned. It must be accepted by organisations that emotional recovery can be a protracted process and some never fully recover from the trauma they experience during a crisis and this has to be catered for.
By following this approach Trident Manor has helped multiple organisations in the UK and internationally prepare for, plan, and respond to crisis situations. If you would like to know more about how we can help you and your organisation manage crisis situations, whether during the analysis, prepare, respond, or recovery phases please feel free to contact us.