As a retired Coast Guard aviator, early in our training, pilots learn that during an emergency they must fly the aircraft first. In fact, there’s a saying that goes: aviate, navigate, and then communicate. The equivalent to this also applies in the business world. In a crisis, first deal with the immediate issues that threaten the very survival of the organization. Leaders must work decisively through the present challenges whether it is a poor earnings forecast or a persistent cyber-attack that results in the release of valuable information. Leadership first has to deal with the close-in sharks and alligators that threaten the business. Once the immediate threat is resolved and some control is established, a plan, if not already prepared and executable, should be developed (i.e., navigate). This is the time to ask: where are we, where do we want to go, and what is the best route to get there? This is fundamental leadership 101 but the plan and the communication segment are not trivial. Crisis1 founder and CEO, Pat Philbin, Ph.D., is fond of saying “In short, if you own it or have responsibility for it—you have an obligation to communicate when the circumstances warrant.”
How an organization communicates daily—but especially during a crisis—is the key to providing assurance to its constituents. Crisis1’s Strategic Communication Practice Area focuses on these crisis management communication efforts early, comprehensively and systematically. Using a systems approach, Crisis1 examines four key components of the strategic communication process to achieve superior solutions: People, Policies, Plans, and Platforms. Our team believes effective communication management in today’s highly complex and volatile environment requires visionary and innovative leadership that recognizes communication is a shared responsibility. To thrive in this environment, organizations must develop policies that create a bias to communicate—plans and exercises that help test and reinforce the communication policies and procedures that have been established and result in instinctive behavior by employees. They must also leverage technology that creates information channels that are fast, direct, and transparent because this helps build and maintain trust with those who matter most to an organization.
So before the next crisis grounds your high flying business, invite Crisis1 to help your organization with the policies, plans, and platforms necessary to navigate today’s turbulent business environment.