2018 Will Be a Wild Year – How Robust is Your Crisis Plan?

2018 PlanWell, that was quite a year.

The ramifications of the changes that took place in 2017 are not going to be entirely clear for some time.

The US political environment was one factor. However, it took place against a backdrop of significant shifts in US culture, society and business.

Consider some of the significant issues that companies faced in the year that brought them increased scrutiny from the media, consumers and pressure groups.

As a reminder, already in 2017 we’ve had, among many others, United Airlines and Dr Dao, Uber and its toxic management culture, British Airways and its IT collapse, Pepsi and the Kendall Jenner video, Delta and the Atlanta thunderstorms, Chipotle and its data breach, PWC and the Oscars flub, Wells Fargo’s ongoing tribulations, a wave of accusations of sexual predatory behavior and anyone mentioned in a Presidential tweet.

Many of these issues, centered around sexism, racism, and other political, cultural and social behaviors, are all different kinds of corporate challenges than the usual risks such as cyber security, product malfunctions and extreme weather – all of which still appeared regularly through the year.

Clearly, we live in times where the spectrum of corporate risk has broadened considerably.

You can feel the unease in corporate America. There is a heightened sense that terrors lurk around the next corner, new issues looming that could have a terrible impact on our reputation and business.

Crisis planning and preparedness is almost certainly on your to-do list.

It’s probably been on your list for some time. So let’s make 2018 the year you finally get to tackle it.

How confident are you that your plan would be up to date and useful if the worst happened tomorrow?

That you have a crisis response team that is briefed and trained to cope with a major threat?

That you have well defined crisis management processes with a clear roadmap for escalation so that there is an early warning of a potential problem?

Where the heck is your plan? How would you access it in a hurry, especially if the crisis struck at a weekend or a holiday?

There has never been a better time to make crisis planning number one on your task list.