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Publications at CICM

Crisis Management: A New Reality

Author/s: John Dalton and Steve Dann

Publication Date: Feb 2014

Crisis Management: A New Reality

The following is a short excerpt of Crisis Management: A New Reality. Please refer to the PDF download for the full article including references.

Executive Summary

Crisis management is itself in a crisis – as a concept and critical business capability, current approaches are inadequate to protect organisations from future threats and vulnerabilities. Crisis management must therefore assimilate new techniques and capabilities into the crisis tool box. A good pre-crisis plan, based on risk assessment and analysis of current and past events is still valid. But more valid, and indeed essential, is the need for crisis managers to scan the horizon and develop plausible scenarios about the future and try and anticipate challenges that may lie ahead. Crisis management should now be as much as about anticipation as prevention, and should be considered as a process, not just an event. Such an approach requires crisis managers to first become trained in issue management and other strategic management skills, shifting executives’ problem understanding from a technical, case-based approach, to more predictive problem solving. By recognising plausible future realities, organisations are in a better position to make decisions that may prevent the impacts of negative outcomes, if they ever materialise. Despite this recognition, executives are not well versed in strategic foresight skills and continue to follow crises in a mechanistic way. This problem needs to be addressed through understanding and training.