Concerto has a strong track record of delivering change and making it stick. These are not ordinary times and we are pleased to have Peter Power join us as an Associate Partner. Peter is one of the country’s leading practitioners in Crisis Management (CM) and an author of the current British Standard on this topic. A leader for extra-ordinary times.
Peter was a key architect/ promulgator of the original set up of the Gold/Silver/ Bronze Command structure and has since gone on to be Chairman of the World Conference on Disaster Management and adviser to several international organisations. He has considerable front-line experience of many real crises (frequently quoted on the BBC in relation to action at the scenes of several previous major incidents). Peter has supported HMG departments as well as the Australian and Canadian governments in planning for CM situations.
He was a member of the UK Security Review Commission previously chaired by Lord Ashdown (Resilience Subgroup), and is a Fellow of the Institutes of Risk Management, Business Continuity and Chartered Management.
Most organisations, even if they have a Crisis Management plan, will not have properly tested it or be aware of how to enact it so they can quickly switch to making key strategic decisions in far shorter time frames than usual. This will require prompt decision making often on incomplete information, new structures to supersede “business as usual” structures, rapid responsive communications and 80:20 implementations. Some of this could link to Business Continuity (BC) working at operational level (e.g. switching to home working), but scenarios such as pandemic influenza require immediate CM to properly coordinate all activities.
All crises go through the stages of:
- Mayhem (panic)
- Mastermind (who can tell us what to do?)
- Manhunt (who can we blame?)
During the period of Covid-19, we have moved from slow time planning / thinking to quick time doing. From routine speed to CM speed and masterminding the desired outcomes. This is the stage where demands for urgent decisions will be at their highest yet concomitant with this, accurate information about what’s going on now and what is likely to occur tomorrow is usually elusive.
We are in the high risk / low delay decision making zone now, as opposed to the low risk / high delay more usual situation.
- Provide easy to use frameworks to identify Mission Critical Activities in harmony with any BC plans.
- Help to streamline key layers of decision making towards a much simpler Gold/Silver/Bronze structure.
- Assist in creating and implementing effective plans of action.
- Improving all crisis communications.
- Delivering workshops (potentially virtual if in lockdown) as the quickest way to impart vital information
- Providing support to recovery planning.
Start with a CM Workshop
- Lessons from the past: ideas for the present.
- Moving from slow time thinking to quick time doing.
- Decision making in minutes rather than hours.
- Identifying any barriers to overcome to accelerate the process of CM.
- Getting a CM Team to work effectively in the acute phase of a crisis.
- Giving directions that are relevant, feasible and attractive.
- Measuring success or failure of directions given.
- Gold, Silver & Bronze explained by an original developer of the system.
- Simple structures to help you make prompt and attainable decisions.
- An easy to complete CM decision making route.
- A simple BC ‘criticality matrix’ to work in harmony with CM
- Communications plan and feedback loop.
- Knowing how to establish a ‘battle rhythm’ in the CM response.
- Understanding Situational Awareness and a Common Information Picture.
- The ability to create a more capable CM team, ready to switch on and operate.
- Understanding the vital difference between routine and crisis leadership.
- Effective Crisis Leaders understand they will not always have all of the information they might like. There may be too little, or too much, information, some or all of which may be ambiguous, contradictory, unreliable, unverifiable or wrong. They also know that making an imperfect decision now is far better than delaying until all the desired information is available, or making no decision at all.
- Effective Crisis Leaders exist at the front end of reality. They take ownership of the problem, recognise events and their significances and do not shy away from the consequences of what they see and the actions needed to inspire others to help resolve the situation.
- A Crisis Leader has to be visible in that job, not least because any effective leader stands on the boundary between the organisation on all that overlaps with it. Above all, leadership in a crisis scenario is not simply about strategic planning. That’s the easy part. The difficult part is making things happen.
- The Crisis Leader is hands on directing the CM as opposed to the senior leader who champions or endorses the Business Continuity Plan.