Posts about Crisis Management on The Time Traveller’s Dog

moscow-1533212A special invite to all my friends in Moscow…  This coming Thursday (19th April), I appear to have been set the unenviable challenge of delivering my entire three-day Crisis Management course in under an hour!

If any of you fancy coming along to see if I can do it (or just to have a few drinks afterwards!), love to see you at the Hyatt Hotel from around 7pm.  Further details here.

twitter-weibo-290x290-7848389Social networking sites are integral to crisis management.  Negative comments about an organisation can trigger a crisis, as when KFC were accused of cooking in days old oil, and they can be used to counter the effects of the crisis, something KFC did very well by responding robustly to those accusations via coordinated micro-blogging.

The KFC incident happened in China, of course, a country that has seem more than its share of crises of late, from toy safety and baby milk scares to a major earthquake.  As a recent report from Shanghai-based advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather shows, it seems the Chinese are becoming as sophisticated as any nation in managing crises through social media, particularly through the Sino Weibo platform (China’s answer to Twitter), which now routinely plays a role in both brand development and protection.

mba-7399324For a long time, many of us have known that some MBA programmes can suffer from the overconfidence bias in terms of what they deliver to their participants.  We all know the signs, too… MBA students selecting any optional module as long as it contains the word “strategic” somewhere in the title (if I offered a course in “Strategic Gardening”, many MBAs would pick it!), the assumption being that they will soon be snapped up by a blue-chip company and paid an inordinate sum of money to sit in a huge glass office thinking strategically while all of the minions below do all of the work.  Ah, if only life was like that….

The problem is that in order to sell the huge benefits an MBA education can bring, many of us spend so much time teaching our students how to be better leaders, doing all we can to boost their confidence and generally accentuating the positives, that we often leave our MBA graduates ill-prepared for the reality of a now-extremely-gloomy and always volatile business environment.  In this very interesting piece in the FT, Professor David de Cremer from Rotterdam argues that MBA programmes should prepare tomorrow’s business leaders for the downside of management too and, in particular, advocates that a subject close to my own heart – crisis management – should be considered a core topic for all MBA students.  Totally endorsee that view, David!

Posted in Crisis Management

dbstall-1029374Ok, might as well have a shameless plug here!  I’ll be offering an intensive three-day workshop in Crisis Management at Durham University in May 2012 as part of the business school’s Executive Education programme.  My colleague Professor George Wright, an expert on behavioural decision making, will also be delivering a course in Scenario Thinking in August 2012.

Full details of these and other open-enrolment short courses can be found on the Durham Business School web pages.

social_media2-2823876One of the potential minefields for business continuity managers in today’s wired world lies in social media.  We’re familiar from the news of instances where irate customers or disgruntled employees vent their spleens via media such as Facebook or Twitter, but official and quasi-official gaffs can cause just as many problems for the organisation (or worse!).  What should we do if the CEO makes some unfortunate remarks on a blog, for instance, or a well-meaning marketing executive deletes negative feedback from a Facebook page and inadvertently attract worse in the process?  This recent piece over on the Macworld site summarises some of the potential dangers in social media for the poorly-prepared organisation and suggests some simple steps that might be taken in response.