Elements of a Crisis Management Capability
By now, we should all understand the value of a well-developed crisis management capability including asset-protection. But what goes into building such a crisis management capability?
Building a crisis management capability by establishing a framework
Well, according to recently released ISO 22361: 2022, entities should establish a (1) framework and (2) process if they are to build an effective crisis management capability. The framework specifically is used to integrate crisis management into activities and functions.
That framework, though, contains discrete parts. Crisis leadership, structure, culture, and competence all go into establishing the crisis management framework.
These are concepts we’ve all heard before. But in this age of increased crisis threat everywhere, it’s worth defining them for the purposes of developing or enhancing the crisis management capability.
Crisis management leadership, for instance, doesn’t just mean stewardship of the crisis response and recovery but also engagement in the development, maintenance, and improvement of the crisis capability.
Achieving this requires top management to ensure the following:
- Crisis management objectives are compatible with the strategic direction and core values of the organization
- Crisis management is customized to the organization’s context
- Demonstrated commitment to the crisis management capability
- Direction and support for crisis management to achieve its intended outcome
- Communication of the importance and benefits of crisis management
- Integration of crisis management into the organization’s processes
- Availability of resources for crisis management
- Promotion of continual improvement of crisis management.
Crisis management structure
Simple enough concepts to grasp.
Organizational structure is where the rubber tends to hit the road, though, for the crisis management capability.
According to best practice, organizations should establish organizational structures that provide the means to develop and continually improve the crisis management capability. Those structures include the following components:
- Roles, authorities, responsibilities, and accountabilities
- Regulations and guidelines for involvement, information, and communication
- Processes and methods
- Facilities and tools
- Quality assurance and control
- A system for storing and sharing/transferring knowledge
Crisis management culture and competence
However, it has been noted that organizations with impeccable crisis management structures still botch crisis response.
How can this be? Often, it’s the lack of a crisis management culture that’s most deleterious to crisis management competence when it’s needed most.
Part of crisis management leadership, as a result, is the encouragement of positive attitudes among employees concerning the upholding of the organization’s core values. That manifests itself in the application of expectations, policies, and procedures.
Employees should learn to recognize and value risk awareness, commitment to crisis management, early warning, organizational resilience, and awareness, as well as psychological safety – simply because these are corporate values.
Further, among staff, senior leaders should promote the ability to detect, assess, and communicate the latent conditions that contribute to a successful crisis management culture.
Why? Because then, employees will get a better understanding of the desired state, success criteria, and steps needed to establish competency in crisis management.
Finally, what are some of these steps? Again, according to best practice, they include:
- Develop crisis management awareness, knowledge, skills, and positive attitude at the individual, team, organizational and inter-organizational levels
- Deploy competence management processes and procedures within crisis management
- Undertake systematic processes for reviews and learning related
- Value organizational learning as a means for continual improvement of crisis management capability
Of course, this all means little without the appropriate processes to carry it off. Anticipation, here, comes in handy, with horizon scanning processes to identify potential crises.
Fortunately, digital critical event management software furnishes capabilities helpful to this task. To learn more about what those capabilities are, download our Buyer’s Guide to Critical Event Software.