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In the crisis recovery moment, clients might be turning to you to help develop or revise their crisis management plan with lessons learned from the pandemic experience. That’s great. But crisis management planning doesn’t equal full crisis lifecycle preparedness.
As we’ve learned before, once plans are developed, clients are all too likely to fall prey to major crisis planning pitfalls. How to help clients avoid the inevitable bumps along the road and ensure full crisis lifecycle preparedness?
Clients overrate their level of full crisis lifecycle preparedness
When it comes to full crisis lifecycle preparedness, one of the starkest challenges is avoiding hubris. From the available data, clients are likely to overrate their level of full crisis lifecycle preparedness.
Why? They equate having produced a crisis management plan – even a comprehensive plan – with full lifecycle preparedness.
The two aren’t equivalent. Post development, plans will still need to be tested regularly; as such, clients will have to commit to run regular, robust crisis management simulations. Indeed, the full crisis lifecycle preparedness best-practice, here, is typically multiple scenarios each lasting between four to six hours.
How crisis training helps ensure full crisis lifecycle preparedness
What to say to clients who don’t see the value in training, or who’ve been disillusioned by monotonous trainings in the past? Well, done correctly, crisis simulations provide valuable trial and error learning (in a relatively controlled setting) for staff who will be serving as de facto first responders once a crisis begins.
To this end, the trainings are more likely to yield full crisis lifecycle preparedness, because they help ensure that all workers, not just crisis managers or dedicated principals, are comfortable performing the tasks assigned to them and even going off-script if the situation demands.
Why form and substance matter when it comes to full crisis lifecycle preparedness
What else? A related hurdle to full crisis lifecycle preparedness is treating the developed plan as a static document, especially as your clients move inevitably further away in time from the crisis that precipitated the planning effort in the first place.
For your clients, this planning pitfall can take multiple forms: creating generic plans to meet regulatory requirements; or, more likely in the case of clients looking for third-party resources to ensure full crisis lifecycle preparedness, developing overly laborious plans.
Those plans tend to address every possible contingency – even the most remote. That’s not the point of crisis management planning. And as well intentioned as those plans tend to be, overly prescriptive plans ultimately frustrate the people tasked with executing them.
What should be done, instead, to better ensure full crisis lifecycle preparedness for your clients? Rather than developing plans for your clients that are too dense, help them build flexible modules that can dynamically adapt to the fast-changing crisis situation. In length, that means striking a middle ground between leanness and length.
Bringing dynamic plans to life is more practice than theory, though. That step requires a dedicated crisis management software partner.
Where to turn? Get in touch with the Noggin partner program today: