Lessons Learned from the Crises of 2011

What lessons - if any - have we learned from the crises that have occurred in 2011 and earlier? Do we have new knowledge we can carry forward and incorporate into our business continuity plans in 2012? From the use of social media, to communicating effectively in a crisis, there are lessons for all of us in how various disasters were handled - or mishandled. We trust this week's articles will help you determine if you need to make any changes in your plan.

If you haven't updated your plan recently, some of these lessons learned might be worth considering as you update. (Item #1)   Have you considered what role social media might play in your crisis plan? (Item #2)   What financial lessons have we learned in 2011? (Item #3)  

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have taught us many valuable lessons. (Item #4)   Although an association's governance issues don't usually make the front page, you never know; here are some governance crises that you might learn from. (Item #5)   These crises from 2010 can point up gaps in your communication plan. (Item #6)  

As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at [email protected].

Happy New Year !!!

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Disaster Preparedness 2011 -- Lessons Learned

This article will focus on lessons learned from recent crisis situations and the knowledge garnered from those experiences, which those who write plans can potentially incorporate into their own plan development. A parallel theme is, if you don't have a plan now, or if the plan you have has not been updated in a year or more, creating or updating one should be a priority for your organization.

2. Social Media's Role in a 21st Century Crisis: Lessons Learned

At a recent Media Relations & Crisis Management Conference, panelists agreed on four important lessons on social media and crisis management.

3. Financial lessons learned in 2011, a year of volatility

An earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in the Pacific, political uprisings in the Middle East, a debt crisis in Europe. The United States lost is sterling credit rating. Occupy Wall Street captured, and tried, our attention. The foreclosure crisis did not abate, the housing market did not rebound, and the job market is nowhere near as big as it was before the recession. If the economy is still recovering, it's keeping an awfully low profile. The author revisits lessons learned from the highs and lows of 2011.

4. Lessons Learned from the Japan Earthquake

In the immediate aftermath of the Japan earthquake, risk professionals, operations and supply chain managers focused on mitigating the impact on revenue and production. Now companies are questioning their existing crisis management approach and investigating how to make it more streamlined and effective. Their experiences provide lessons which manufacturers must take to heart if they are to survive and remain competitive when future crises occur.

5. What Can We Learn from Governance Crises?

You hope it never happens - your organization in the harsh spotlight of public scrutiny. Governance crises in associations don't usually attract media attention. However the media, when it learns of trouble in organizations that depend on tax dollars or donations, can be swift to judge. Whether true or fair, before any formal investigation is done, often leaders are painted as villains. With that, much damage is done. The reputation of the entire organization suffers, morale plummets, and focus on the mission is lost. Director responsibilities are common across the Board. What can associations learn from governance challenges and crises in other not for profit organizations? Let's take a few examples from the past decade and extract the take-aways for directors today.

6. Lessons Learned From Seven Months of Crises

Over the past months the media have relentlessly covered major crises ranging from a superstar athlete's fall from grace, a massive vehicle recall because of safety problems, two fatal industrial accidents, military veterans exposed to contaminated dental instruments, the worst environmental disaster in the history of the U.S. and the financial emasculation of two of the world's largest corporations. In all these crises there have been lessons learned that can, upon study, reveal weaknesses in your crisis communications plan. Here are just three of the lessons learned.

Quote of the Week:

"Some of life's best lessons are learned at the worst times."
-- Author unknown

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