How well prepared are you for a crisis in your workplace?
The ultimate crisis occurred in the Monarchy of the United Kingdom this week. By now, you have heard that Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8th. We have seen sadness and grieving throughout the nation, but not a sense of panic or anything that seems out of control. Every person and every action taken by the royal family, those who support them, and the British government has been circumspect and appropriate.
How is this possible for an event affecting many people and circumstances? We have heard of a “secret” plan, London Bridge is Down, for this inevitable occasion for several weeks. This document has been assembled over years of thoughtful discussion and planning to prepare the British government and people to see the loss of their monarch handled with respect, dignity, and security.
When I worked for the US Department of State earlier in my career, we had Crisis Response Plans for every department level, embassy, country, and any conceivable situation that might require swift, life-saving action. I was a diplomatic security officer in Tel Aviv, Israel, during the first Gulf War in 1991. As that situation unfolded, we worked with several agencies, the US military, and the Israeli government to secure the lives of all the Americans in that area. We followed a set of plans that allowed us to make difficult decisions, move people out of the area as necessary, and maintain our support there.
Several of my friends are trained as pilots – private, military, and commercial aviators. Beyond the technical knowledge and skill to fly their aircraft safely, much of their training involves almost every possible scenario that might occur to interrupt a safe flight, each with a well-developed checklist. We saw that planning came into play when birds were sucked into his engines, causing them both to shut down, and Captain Sullenberger was forced to land his commercial airliner in the Hudson River in New York City. He and his first officer followed a carefully planned and practiced set of, albeit unusual, steps to save the lives of every passenger on that plane.
In our latest podcasts from August and September, Dennis and I walk through several ways you can be prepared to navigate a crisis or unplanned event in your workplace. One of the most important steps is to bring together all your key leaders and develop a set of thoughtful plans.
Our August workshop provides another area of preparation: understanding trauma, how it affects your workforce, and how you can build a trauma-informed, “safe” workplace. You can access the recording and the slides on our website under the Resources tab.
We have been working with conflict and crisis for over 30 years, and we can help you navigate a path to recovery and restoration for your business. Let us know how we can support you.
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to our latest podcast, you can check it out here:
For the Heart of Your Business!
Q&A for this topic:
- How does your leadership respond to unexpected events?
- Do you have a plan in place to address a crisis?
- What resources do you have in place to keep your employees safe and informed?
- How will you begin to develop a Crisis Response Team and Procedures?