In today’s unpredictable business environment, no organization is immune to crises.

From natural disasters and cyberattacks to financial scandals and supply chain mishaps, a crisis can hit any organization at any time. Therefore, having a competent crisis management team in place is critical to the success and survival of any business. In this blog, we will discuss the steps involved in creating a competent corporate crisis management team. 

The following eight steps are based on our experience in supporting the development, implementation and being part of crisis response programs.  

Step 1: Identify Potential Crisis Scenarios 

The first step in creating a competent crisis management team is to identify potential crisis scenarios that your organization may face. This could include natural disasters, cyber-attacks, product recalls, financial scandals, and other incidents that could negatively impact the organization. Identifying potential crisis scenarios will help you understand the types of risks your organization faces and how to prepare for them. 

Step 2: Select a Crisis Management Team Leader  

Once potential crisis scenarios have been identified, the next step is to select a crisis management team leader and a competent backup. The crisis management team leader should be an experienced executive who has a deep understanding of the organization’s business operations and risks. The team leader should have the ability to make quick decisions under pressure, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others. The crisis management team leader should also have the authority to make decisions and allocate resources as needed. 

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Step 3: Assemble a Crisis Management Team 

The next step in creating a competent crisis management team is to assemble a team of individuals (and backup team members) with the necessary skills and expertise to handle a crisis. The crisis management team should include representatives from key departments such as legal, communications, human resources, IT, finance, and operations. Each team member should have a clearly defined role and responsibilities, as well as an understanding of the overall crisis management plan. 

Step 4: Develop a Crisis Management Plan 

Once the crisis management team has been assembled, the next step is to develop a comprehensive crisis management plan. The crisis management plan should include procedures for identifying, assessing, and responding to potential crises. It should also include a communication plan, outlining how information will be shared with employees, customers, and the media. The plan should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that it remains relevant and effective. 

Step 5: Conduct Crisis Management Training 

Training is an essential component of creating a competent crisis management team. Team members should be trained on the crisis management plan, including their individual roles and responsibilities. They should also be trained on how to respond to different types of crises, such as natural disasters, cyberattacks, and financial scandals. Regular training sessions and drills can help ensure that the crisis management team is prepared to navigate any crisis that may arise. 

Step 6: Establish Crisis Communication Protocols 

Effective communication is critical during a crisis. Therefore, it is essential to establish communication protocols that will allow the crisis management team to share information quickly and efficiently with each other, as well as with employees, customers, and other critical stakeholders. Communication protocols should outline who will be responsible for communicating with different stakeholders, what information will be shared, and how it will be shared. 

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Step 7: Test and Evaluate the Crisis Management Plan 

Testing and evaluating the crisis management plan is critical to ensure that it is effective and that team members are prepared to handle a crisis. Regular testing and evaluation can help identify weaknesses in the plan and provide opportunities for improvement. Tabletop exercises and other advanced simulation exercises will help validate plans, processes, and capabilities. After a crisis has been resolved, it is important to conduct a post-mortem analysis to identify what worked well and what needs to be improved.  

Step 8: Engage External Resources 

In some cases, a crisis may require the engagement of external resources such as legal counsel, public relations firms, and crisis management consultants. Therefore, it is important to identify potential external resources ahead of time and establish relationships with them. This can help ensure that the organization has access to the necessary resources when a crisis occurs. 


Creating a competent corporate crisis management team involves eight key steps: identifying potential crisis scenarios, selecting a crisis management team leader, assembling a crisis management team, developing a comprehensive crisis management plan, conducting crisis management training, establishing crisis communication protocols, testing, and evaluating the crisis management plan, and engaging external resources when necessary. By following these steps, organizations can be better prepared to handle crises and protect their reputation and bottom line.