Crisis management is an executive function and should never be relegated down the chain of command. A good case study is what is happening on the East Coast today.
In case you missed it, the Eastern seaboard is getting pummeled by snow. New York City is expecting up to 15 inches. The storm is affecting states along the coast all the way down to Atlanta. I watched the pictures on CNN this morning on my treadmill walk. What resonated with me is the amount of chaos happening with transportation. Many roads are simply inaccessible. People are abandoning their cars and walking. Airlines all over the country are being affected.
CEOs of a companies based out of the East Coast that haven’t made contingency plans for this, are simply negligent. Everyone who lives over there knows from empirical evidence through the years that these storms occur and what the impact is. Plans to combat these storms and mitigate damage to ongoing operations, employee safety, communications, and potential structural damage should have already been written, practiced, and repeated frequently over the course of the year that isn’t affected. If transportation is critical to the business, what plans are in place to deal with that?
CEOs that delegate this strategic thinking get caught in the storm. The implementation and manifestation of the plan is always done by others. However, the strategy, communication, and accountability rests with the boss.
If you’re not in the midst of the latest weather debacle back East. consider yourself fortunate. Also consider acting on your OWN crisis strategy plan because you might be next. We are offered these lessons all the time. The really savvy CEOs and Presidents act on them. The ones that don’t end up blaming someone else for inefficiency. My suggestion is that you be the former and conquer crisis before it conquers you.
P.S. To all my friends, colleagues, and clients back on the East Coast…be safe, stay warm and dry, and best wishes to a quick return to “normalcy!”
© 2014 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved
The Million Dollar Blind Spot people are missing on the snow for most of the MidSouth is the underlying ice, not really the snow. Your analogy for CEOs fits well because people can see the snow; they can hot see the ice.
From your enterprise risk management expert buddy hunkered down for the third day from ice storm alert.
Thanks for your comment, Gary. Stay warm!