How crisis management planning can ensure a happy new year

December 12, 2018 by Jonathan Hemus


Twelve months ago when Sir Philip Green set sail on superyacht Lionheart for an end of year voyage, he was not expecting the stormy waters which damaged his personal and corporate reputation following allegations of sexual misconduct.

As turkey and cranberry sandwiches flew off the shelves in the run up to Christmas 2017, Pret a Manger’s CEO Clive Schlee could hardly have imagined the criticism his much admired brand would face in late 2018 following the death of a 15 year old girl following an allergic reaction.

When TSB’s CEO Paul Pester reflected on the achievements of 2017, there was little reason to fear that TSB’s reputation for being more caring than its bigger banking rivals could be so catastrophically undermined by an IT outage just four months later.

Three successful businesses; three highly respected brands; three hugely experienced business leaders. Each brought to their knees by a major crisis.

Reputational risk

A crisis is the moment when everything you’ve ever worked for can be lost in the blink of an eye. As a business, your corporate reputation, the trust of your customers, your employee’s livelihoods and the value of your business are all jeopardised. Personally, you risk losing your good name, your employability, your self-esteem, the respect of peers and maybe even your relationships.  

It takes long time and hard work to build a business and personal reputation; a crisis has the power to destroy all of that value overnight.

Sadly, there is nothing you can do to guarantee your organisation will be crisis-free (though you can take steps to reduce its likelihood). Crises have no respect for reputation, size or fairness.

Crisis management training

So, what can you do to face the new year with confidence that a crisis cannot destroy everything you’ve ever worked for? Make a resolution to plan, train and rehearse for the kinds of events which could bring your business to its knees.

Crisis management planning might not be your most exciting Christmas gift ever, but it’s one whose value would be immeasurable if 2019 brings an unexpected crisis to your door.


Join us on 10 January for our first webinar of the new year, ‘Priorities for reputation and value protection in 2019’. We will be exploring key areas of focus for crisis management in 2019 to ensure your organisation can successfully navigate whatever the year throws at you.

Register here


Jonathan Hemus

Managing Director

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