Blog provided by RockDove Solutions
From cringe-worthy CEO rants to global lockdowns to data breaches to plane crashes, crises are inevitable, happening to every organization and putting reputations, livelihoods, and even lives at risk in the aftermath. However, as inevitable as crises can seem or be, the speed and coordination with which an organization responds often determines the severity of the damage inflicted in the aftermath.
Poor visibility, clumsy responses
In 2018, when video surfaced of one passenger hurling racial slurs at another passenger on a Ryanair flight, the airline took hours to respond and then with only a cold, curt tweet: “Statement: We are aware of this video and have reported this matter to Essex Police.”
It took five days for a much more comprehensive—but glaringly defensive—tweet to appear. The combination of a slow start and tone-deaf, disjointed responses failed to soothe hurt feelings and only further frustrated customers and observers.
Unfortunately, such sluggish, clumsy crisis responses are too often the by-product of poor visibility into the nature and scope of the crisis and the expected roles and actions of the teams involved in the response.
On the other hand, organizations that invest in the processes and technology to provide a full operational picture to all relevant teams tend to avoid such embarrassments. Instead, they are enabled to mount a swift, coordinated response and mitigate their losses in the aftermath.
A full operational picture
A single dashboard can be powerful at creating such an operational picture for your organization, but in order to be effective, it must deliver the following six key capabilities:
1. Combine incident report, threat alerts, and social listening
If fragmented information trips up crisis responses, then aggregating relevant information unifies them. Even before a threat officially becomes a crisis, relevant teams should have one place to observe and track all incident reports, threat alerts, and social conversations. This mix of channels ensures that teams stay abreast of the full gamut of potential crises, from misspeaking spokespeople to privacy-killing breaches to incoming hurricanes.
2. Customize and scale to your industry and organization’s specific needs
No one industry or organization is alike in terms of the threats they face and how they must respond to them. For instance, a tech company should be ready to respond to data breaches, but will most likely never need to react to a mass casualty incident like the crash of an airliner. Each of these crises brings its own considerations, including:
- The channels used to monitor relevant threats and trends
- Industry-specific legal and regulatory considerations
- Complexity of crisis management processes
As you choose a dashboard, it should be customizable and scalable to meet your organization’s needs in these and other areas.
3. Save time when time is of the essence
Every second matters in crisis management. At their best, dashboards save time. They accentuate the figures that matter and cut out the ones that don’t. In one glance, they enable teams to understand the terrain, make side-by-side comparisons, spot trends, and make educated decisions. However, this is only possible as teams take the time to determine together which data points will best guide their decisions.
As you configure your crisis management dashboard, take the time upfront to select the data points and metrics that will matter most to your team.
4. Share information of interest with appropriate stakeholders
The responses of stakeholders are only as good as their ability to access critical information throughout the crisis management process. When stakeholders hold incorrect or outdated information, mixed messages and embarrassing falsehoods abound. This only gets worse when they hold no information at all.
As a full operational picture in the midst of a crisis, a dashboard can ensure that each stakeholder receives the same, up-to-date information as everyone else. The best dashboards let you serve each stakeholder only that data that is relevant to their particular role and eliminate the rest of the clutter.
5. Keep everyone on task with shared checklists
As your team’s crisis management process kicks in, your attention turns to ensuring that every critical step in the process is executed properly. Dashboards can provide an ideal place to monitor this execution, task by task, and keep them on track to success. As an added bonus, placing task management data next to other crisis data makes it easier to react and adjust plans when unforeseen circumstances arise.
6. Create a repository of key documents for each issue
Several years ago, a director of crisis preparedness at a major international airline maintained his crisis response system in a 100-plus-page binder. Keeping track of the most up-to-date version of documents in the binder was a challenge in and of itself—to say nothing of the mad scramble that ensued when a crisis happened outside of work hours and stakeholders had to race to the office to retrieve the binder before they could take action.
The ideal crisis management dashboard will include a repository of key documents that can be accessed by all stakeholders in a secure, cloud-based location. When done this way, teams can access documents at home or work, in the car or on the train, on a desktop or a smartphone.
Get the full picture in any crisis
Visibility is key to mounting a smart, consistent, unified crisis management response. The right dashboard can facilitate such visibility and enable teams to roll out their best-laid plans swiftly, wherever they are, and at any time. Finally, they provide a command center from which to respond intelligently as the crisis evolves.
Learn how RockDove Solutions’ In Case of Crisis 365 risk management platform provides a full operational picture by visiting rockdovesolutions.com.