It’s been a while since we’ve talked about business continuity planning on the Invictus Consulting blog.
We tend to talk a lot about active shooters and the value in having both an active shooter plan and a comprehensive Emergency Action Plan. Here’s an important thing to remember: shooters are only one type of crisis. Other potential business crises include:
- controversial company developments (e.g., lay-offs)
- logistical difficulties
- technical accidents/explosions
- natural disasters
- critical media exposure
- negative social media campaigns
- political scrutiny
- regulatory scrutiny
- defective/unsafe products
Most of these examples are probably less lethal than an active shooter; something like critical media exposure probably won’t cause fatalities. But the potential to be lethal shouldn’t be the determining factor in whether or not to create a plan to deal with a crisis. Repercussions and clean up vary across types of crises, but the wheel need not be reinvented for every single possible crisis. An active shooter and an earthquake might both shut down your organization for 2-3 days. An active shooter and a negative social media campaign might both cause harm to your organization’s reputation. An active shooter and mass lay-offs may both create situations where weapons are brought into the workplace. There are similarities as well as differences across types of crises.
Crisis planning is an essential aspect of running a successful business or organization. Yes, it will cost money, time, and resources. And yes, there is a pretty good chance that it will be used only rarely, if ever. Hopefully you’ll never need to use your crisis action plan. But imagine an active shooter does enter your workplace and starts shooting – the time, money, effort, and resources may help save lives. Imagine a massive hurricane and flooding that shuts down your office building for three weeks. You’ll be cursing yourself for not putting a plan in to place before the incident. Imagine one of your employees kills a cop, sparking a media uproar and unintended negative press for your company. Their actions may have had nothing to do with you, their employer, but your company gets the negative press and reputation nevertheless.
What would you do to protect your people, your revenue, and your reputation?
You need a plan. We can’t say this often enough.