“Be First, Be Right, Be Credible,” is a mantra of crisis management.
With the current COVID-19 crisis, government leaders at all levels who applied this principle have earned the confidence of the public and concurrently had the most success in addressing the crisis’ full scope. What needs to be added to this phrase is the word ‘consistency.’ It is one thing to communicate a message or information and be the first to do so, but consistency in all phases of managing a crisis is a significant factor for success. Crisis management requires consistent planning, not only in process and procedure, but in the way and from whom decision makers receive information, intelligence, ideas, and solutions. Those providing counsel and guidance to leaders and decision makers during a crisis are required to be consistent in how and from whom they obtain their own information and intelligence. Thereafter, they need to consistent in how they validate and analyze that information, develop solutions, and the means by which they accurately communicate to their boss. The failure to obtain accurate information or incorrectly assessing and analyzing information has a cascading negative effect. More problematic is if inaccurate information or solutions to mitigate a crisis are communicated to leaders, or to the public by leaders, due to political considerations or considerations other than addressing the crisis and its consequences.
This fact highlights the importance of leaders and decision makers being consistent in selecting personnel with the ability to be consistent themselves in implementing procedures to ensure information and intelligence is accurately and timely received and communicated without bias, prejudice, or inaccuracies. Equally important is ensuring these individuals have the ability, confidence, and courage to provide that information, intelligence, recommendations, and solutions, no matter how difficult or politically problematic.
As we are seeing played out before us, those political and government leaders who are having the most success in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis are those who have been consistent in providing accurate and timely information to the public. The timely and accurate dissemination of information related to the severity and extent of this crisis has resulted in the timely identification and implementation of mitigation solutions. It is no coincidence these leaders have secured the public’s trust and confidence in their ability to effectively handle this crisis. A further look will reveal the people on whom these leaders rely and the manner in which those people have obtained, analyzed, and communicated information not only during this crisis, but in their day-to-day operations, is consistent. Consistently selecting and relying on people who are themselves consistent in the way they accurately and timely obtain, analyze, and communicate information and solutions without bias, prejudice, or political considerations is a significant factor to ensure success in managing a crisis.
For help with crisis management in your business The Aggeris Group provides unique training and insight in developing and addressing all of your Crisis Management Training Adjudication and Planning needs.
Kevin James Kline, COO
The Aggeris Group