Real-Time Crisis Management
Published: 25-Aug- 2011 | Product Category: Risk Consulting
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A crisis is a defining moment for an organization. Core management skills and organizational values are put to the test, business practices are exposed, and decisions are examined with 20-20 hindsight.
Managing a crisis and its consequences requires a clear understanding that it’s no longer business as usual. The standard approaches or management structures that you rely on to make day-to-day decisions will no longer work. You simply can’t wait for all the answers to take action or let others dictate your future. Instead, you must be ready to act swiftly, decisively, and responsibly to protect your company.
It’s at times like these you can rely on Marsh Risk Consulting’s Reputational Risk & Crisis Management Practice; our team has significant experience helping clients through all stages of crisis planning, response, mitigation, and recovery.
Our Real-Time Crisis Management team has extensive hands-on experience successfully supporting clients during some of the most severe, high-profile events—whether physical events (such as natural disasters, industrial accidents, violence, recalls, and fires) or non-physical issues (including litigation, data breach, investor activism, and even executive malfeasance). Our crisis consultants have been there, seen it first hand, and helped manage it...it’s what sets us apart.
Because a crisis can strike at any time and an immediate response is required, our consultants are available 24/7/365 to provide counsel and personalized support to your senior leaders or the Board. We can help you manage the crisis, mitigate the potential damage, bolster confidence in your organization, protect your reputation, and, ultimately, safeguard your business.
Urgency Meets Strategy
MRC’s Reputational Risk & Crisis Management team brings a depth of experience and resources unmatched by other firms. We understand the urgency of a crisis, the need to triage the situation quickly, to deploy resources effectively, and to execute flawlessly. By the same token, the need for an overarching strategy to guide your response and recovery cannot be lost. A crisis cannot be managed in a vacuum.
When faced with a crisis, our experience has shown that too often companies become paralyzed by the event and are unable to make decisions and take action in a timely, productive manner. Good crisis management establishes order and control—it helps you find the calm within your storm. It gives you the ability to identify immediate next steps and, at the same time, develop a long-term strategy that will ultimately resolve the situation and protect your reputation.
We have a global team of crisis management professionals, dedicated exclusively to helping companies, governments, and organizations plan for, manage, and recover from the inevitable. We look at the issues through the eyes of your constituents—employees, investors, customers, regulators, legislators, partners, community, media analysts…even the general public. What are they seeing? What do they expect from you? Answers to those questions will guide your actions and the decisions you make. Carefully considering each of these groups helps you manage the event effectively and mitigate any potential damage or lasting impact.
Within moments of your first call to the Marsh Crisis Hotline, we are fully engaged. We can quickly dispatch resources to your offices while other senior Marsh colleagues immediately begin to work with you by phone and e-mail. Your fully coordinated team will coach you and fill in any gaps in your existing capabilities. We are at your side with crisis management experts who have the knowledge, resources, and processes that will help you make the difference between adequacy and excellence in your crisis management efforts. We help you assess your risks and your vulnerabilities, develop a strategy to manage the surrounding issues, and deploy the right resources.
Assessing Impacts and Risks: By going through a careful analysis of "likely" and "worst-case" scenarios, we help our clients quickly understand the potential scope and trajectory of the event. Critical in this stage is our ability to "connect the dots"—see what else is happening throughout the organization and how the crisis may affect those plans. These findings are used to refine the strategy and actions on an ongoing basis.
Developing the Strategy: In a crisis, the natural tendency is to take a defensive posture and react only to isolated events and specific issues. However, our experience has proven that everything is interrelated. We can help you develop and implement an actionable, forward-thinking strategy to help guide decision-making at all levels of the organization. This approach includes proactive initiatives and preventative measures to mitigate the crisis and its impact in the first 24 hours, first week, first month, and beyond. This means orchestrating all of your incident and site-level response actions, including legal, security, business continuity, emergency response, supply chain, and others. As new information becomes available and as stakeholder reactions are measured, we continually review the strategy to determine if adjustments are necessary.
Driving the Response: An endless series of meetings will accomplish little and daily business demands can quickly be forgotten. Instead, we will help assemble the right crisis management team, starting at the top, to direct your response. We will quickly implement the decision-making framework and focus on prioritized issues and actions. We will identify and neutralize emerging risks that could further escalate the crisis. Our senior consultants will be by your side step-by-step—providing on-site support, identifying issues of primary concern and helping you to manage every aspect of your response.
Applying Communications: Managing a crisis effectively is important—letting everyone know what and how you are doing it is crucial. Our consultants can help you define your stakeholder information needs, thereby helping you deliver a consistent and credible story to all audiences—influencing their perception of your organization’s response to the crisis and of your organization as a whole. We can supplement your existing corporate communications team and provide on-the-ground support with this function as well.
Delivering Humanitarian Assistance: Often, managing the emotional response to an event can be a major part of an effective crisis response. Helping employees cope with trauma and become productive again is critical to moving beyond the event. MRC can help put your humanitarian assistance program in place and can also provide counseling services to traumatized employees.
Leveraging Marsh & McLennan Companies Resources: As part of the crisis management process, we may also draw on the vast resources of not just MRC, but our sister companies, to offer expertise to help manage specific aspects of an event. From implementing a product recall to uncovering the cause of a data breach, from environmental reclamation to identifying risk across the enterprise, from quantifying damage to improving operational effectiveness, we can seamlessly integrate the resources you require to meet your immediate as well as long-term needs.
Conducting a Post-Incident Review: Management of a crisis situation provides a powerful growth opportunity to improve existing processes and procedures for the future. Always conducted in a non-threatening manner, MRC can help facilitate a post-incident review to identify lessons learned, areas for growth, process improvements, and timelines to implement those changes. place and can also provide counseling services to traumatized employees.
Once the crisis is over and its potential impacts addressed, the focus must be on transitioning the company back to normal—a step that is often easily forgotten in the rush to get back to business as usual. This includes identifying and taking steps to repair any physical, financial, operational, and reputational damage.
Are You Covered?
Marsh is an approved vendor of real-time crisis management services by many of the major insurers, so a portion of our fees may be paid under your existing insurance coverage. Participating insurers currently include AIG/AIU, ACE, Zurich, Liberty, Travelers, Fireman’s Fund, and others.
While it is impossible to know exactly when a crisis may occur, the appropriate insight, preparation, and planning can help an organization survive an adverse event and, if properly managed, even gain competitive advantage.
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