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Overcoming Typical Organization Dysfunctions in Managing Crisis Communications

Crisis communications can altogether be defined as the approach to an unforeseen event that has the capacity to affect an organization’s performance and produce negative outcomes. Especially where stakeholders are involved, it is of the utmost importance to have an up-to-date and effective crisis communication plan. The way that your company’s stakeholders views a certain event, whether positively or negatively, is what greatly determines whether the event is seen as a crisis or not. When examining the crisis communication procedures present within your business it is important to distinguish the effective from the not-so-effective. Author Helio Fred Garcia of Crisisnavigator has compiled a list of nine common dysfunctions present within most crisis communication plans. Keep these in mind while producing a crisis communication plan that is sure to protect your business from the unpredictable.

Common Institutional Dysfunctions When Things Go Wrong

  1. Ignore the problem
  2. Deny that the problem exists.
  3. Compartmentalize the problem.
  4. Lie about the problem.
  5. Tell misleading half-truths.
  6. Tell only part of the story, letting bad news dribble out over time.
  7. Assign blame, internally or externally, rather than fix problem.
  8. Over-react: “Confess” to more than actually happened.
  9. Panic, leading to bad decision-making, unclear communications, or escalation.

It seems that many organizations fail to recognize when an issue is likely to become a problem. Even damaging behavior is refusing to accept the problem exists and then taking no action to resolve the issue. Another common misbehavior is to lie about the problem. Garcia says that when a person or company lies, it’s hard to fix the problem as the liar has “a double burden: to solve the original problem that caused the trouble in the first place; and to do so in an environment where credibility is diminished.”

Do What You Have to Do

When dealing with crises, Garcia recommends companies to think clearly and to act quickly to lessen the negative impact of the problem. He offers this advice:

Take the pain. Do what you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. In other words, act responsibly now to prevent worse damage later. Of course this all seems like common sense. And it is. But common sense is in very short supply when things go wrong.

To read the full article, click here: http://www.krisennavigator.de/Overcoming-Typical-Organizational-Dysfunctions-in-Managing-Crisis-Communica.493.0.html

About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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