“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong,” said journalist H.L. Mencken.
This applies to crisis management.
Almost every piece of well-known advice for crisis resolution can be wrong. What helps one area might hurt another. Below are popular strategies that occasionally don’t work well.
1. “Speed saves.” Sometimes it’s best to do nothing. Overreactions can call unnecessary attention to a situation. The key is to not necessarily act fast, but decide fast.
2. “Tell it all, now.” Again, sometimes it’s better to sit back and wait to see whether anyone is paying attention than hang the dirty laundry out for all to see. This doesn’t apply if there is a legal, moral, ethical, regulatory or leadership reason to go public. If you take the wait-and-see approach, be sure to have a contingency plan in case your dirty little secret comes out. Often, it won’t.
3. “The plan is important.” Often the team is what’s important. The best crisis plan is only as good as the team who implements it. They go together. Don’t shirk either.