Knowledgeable Risk Specialists Assist with Crisis Management

Comprehensive preparedness mitigates potential harm

If you’ve never considered what it would mean for your organization to be blind-sided by the worst possible news involving a strategic move or a high-profile, personal blunder, this is your wake-up call. In this age of manufactured outrage and wholesale cancelation, you must have a plan in place to respond to news that threatens your operations or reputation.

At North American Forensic Accounting, we believe in preparedness. We can assure you that having a crisis management plan in place can save you inordinate amounts of time, money, and humiliation. When, not if, a crisis arises, you can immediately assemble your team and follow your playbook. You can take the initiative, get out in front of the problem, and control the narrative. When it comes to managing crises, preparedness is the name of the game, and NAFA can show you how.

What is crisis management?

Crisis management is an organization’s strategically designed program for identifying and responding to a sudden, unanticipated event with the potential to harm its people, property, business processes, brand, or reputation. The goal of crisis management is to mitigate damage and restore normality as quickly as possible. This must be done within the organization as it pertains to governance, operations, communications, morale, and other factors related to productivity. But crisis management must also strive to restore the company’s public image and relations with suppliers, clients, and consumers.

Types of crises your business might face

The starting point for any crisis management plan is to imagine what might constitute a crisis for your organization. Common qualifying events include:

  • Natural disasters — While natural disasters are not under any company’s control, they can cause issues with a brand’s perceived ability to serve customers and stakeholders.
  • Environmental issues — Environmental stewardship is an important quality that motivated consumers look for. If you’re leaving an oversized footprint, you can expect an uproar when word gets out.
  • Cybersecurity — A data breach that exposes customer information exposes you to potential liability and can destroy your reputation as a safe company to do business with.
  • Product recalls — When your brand is in jeopardy of losing is reputation for quality and safety, you must demonstrate concern for affected consumers.
  • Executive misconduct — The average consumer does not want to give hard-earned money to bad people. And vendors do not want to do business with partners they can’t trust. Even if your products and services are of high quality, if your ethics and morals are low, consumers and clients will defect.
  • Conflict with interest groups — There are so many advocacy groups trying to influence the market these days, it’s hard to curry favor with one without running afoul of another. How you deal with groups that oppose some aspect of your operations will say a great deal about your authenticity and dedication to your core mission.

A crisis such as those listed above could happen to your organization at any time. You must be prepared.

The components of a strong crisis management plan

As we have already stated, preparation is the key to managing any crisis that arises. Preparation allows you to:

  • Imagine potential crises
  • Implement controls to monitor areas of vulnerability
  • Create reporting mechanisms that enable leadership to learn of a potential crisis as early as possible
  • Create a crisis response team and train the team for various emergency scenarios

Your crisis management plan will instruct your team in the ways it might:

  • Respond — A crisis requires response on numerous fronts: financial, legal, operations, employee relations, client relations, and public relations. The process begins with crisis team notification and activation. The team must examine and define the problem. Working through an established chain of command and communication channels, the team must prepare statements and take immediate, decisive steps.
  • Contain — Your team must assume control over the situation to stop any more dominoes from tumbling. This requires heightened situational awareness, intensive fact finding, and prioritizing. The team may have to engage experts and will undoubtedly have to manage conflicts over information and advice.
  • Recover — In this stage, the team must deal with longer term issues, such as legal and regulatory disputes. It will be necessary to assess financial obligations and consider whether further disclosure of material information is warranted and/or beneficial.
  • Remediate — The team must conduct an analysis of the root cause of the crisis to suggest organizational changes to prevent similar crises in the future. Remediation should also include an assessment of the team’s performance and any necessary revisions to the plan in light of this experience.

Designing a crisis management plan from scratch is a daunting task. But with the experts at NAFA guiding your efforts, you can create a comprehensive plan tailored to your specific organizations.

Contact North American Forensic Accounting to create an effective crisis management program

North American Forensic Accounting helps companies of all sizes design and implement crisis management programs to mitigate harm in the case of an organizational emergency. To learn more, call us at 347-286-4860 or contact one of our offices online to schedule an appointment. NAFA serves clients from offices throughout the United States, including in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, and the Tampa Bay Area.