Bimbo Banter


Leadership in Action


  • Crisis
  • December 15, 2014
  • by Rebecca Shaw

12 15 14 leadership in action

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on Crisis Communications for Leadership Dallas Government, Media and Politics Day at the George W. Bush Institute. The program was originally scheduled for 30 minutes but expanded to an hour and a half. If the number of raised hands was any indication, it wasn’t nearly enough time for this topic.

These young leaders are part of a tech-savvy generation that understands any situation can become a full-scale crisis event as quickly as you can hit “send.”

Panel members were asked to come up with advice or rules for managing a communications crisis that could threaten the reputation and viability of an organization. My own advice encourages young leaders to help their organization develop an enterprise-wide process to identify when a situation is a potential risk--which may not be as simple as it seems--and rapid response measures for managing it.

This process is considerably more complicated for businesses and organizations that are far flung with field operations, franchises and branches around the country and world. Those closest to a development may not realize the potential risk, have the advantage of crisis communications training or be familiar with a crisis plan (if one even exists).

Young leaders may have a generational advantage because they “get” that digital media both compresses response time and expands exposure. Helping your organization anticipate and manage this behavior is a mark of true leadership.



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