The Management Trilogy™ consists of three inter-related domains of Management:
- Daily Management: Leading with Values
- Strategic Management: Leading with Vision
- Crisis Management: Leading with Valor
This article explores the domain of Crisis Management and recommends tools for handling the emotional and inter-personal aspects of Crisis Management.
Otto Lerbinger, a notable figure in the field of crisis communication, identifies various types of crises in his work. His categorization is insightful for understanding different crisis scenarios that organizations might face. Here are the top ten types of crises according to Lerbinger:
- Natural Disaster: These are crises caused by natural phenomena like earthquakes, floods, fires, and hurricanes.
- Technological Crisis: This type involves crises that stem from technical or technological failures, such as software breakdowns, mechanical failures, or industrial accidents.
- Confrontation Crisis: This occurs when groups within an organization (like employees, management, or stakeholders) confront each other, often leading to strikes, boycotts, or other conflicts.
- Malevolence Crisis: This type of crisis involves acts of sabotage, terrorism, or other malicious actions targeted at an organization.
- Organizational Misdeeds: These crises arise when management takes decisions that knowingly place stakeholders at risk or involve unethical practices.
- Workplace Violence: Crises that involve acts of violence perpetrated in or through the workplace. This can include sexual harassment, and bullying.
- Rumors: These are crises that stem from false information or accusations that can damage an organization’s reputation.
- Product Recall: This type of crisis occurs when a product defect that potentially harms consumers or users is discovered, leading to a recall.
- Financial Crisis: These crises are related to financial mismanagement, loss of funding, or other monetary challenges that can threaten an organization’s stability.
- Loss of Key Personnel: A crisis that occurs due to the sudden loss of key individuals within an organization, which can impact operations and morale.
It’s worth noting that the modern business landscape continues to evolve, bringing new kinds of crises. Some additional types that could be considered are:
- Cybersecurity Crisis: With the increasing reliance on digital technology, cyber-attacks, data breaches, and hacking incidents have become a significant crisis category.
- Social Media Crisis: The rise of social media has led to crises that are either born in or exacerbated by social media platforms, impacting an organization’s reputation and stakeholder relations.
- Global Health Crisis: As seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, global health crises can have profound impacts on organizations across multiple dimensions, from operations to supply chain management.
- Regulatory and Compliance Crisis: Organizations might face crises due to changes in laws, regulations, or non-compliance with legal standards, affecting their operations and reputation.
Understanding these various types of crises is essential for organizations to prepare, manage, and recover effectively.
Crisis Management and Everything DiSC® Solutions
Everything DiSC Agile EQ and Everything DiSC Productive Conflict solutions offer valuable tools and frameworks that can be highly beneficial in managing various types of crises. These tools focus on enhancing emotional intelligence and conflict management skills, which are critical in crisis situations. Here’s how they can be applied, using combinations of categories advanced by Lerbinger:
- Natural Disaster, Global Health Crisis: In crises like natural disasters or pandemics, emotional intelligence (EQ) is crucial for leaders and teams to navigate high-stress situations empathetically and effectively. Everything DiSC Agile EQ can help individuals understand and manage their emotional responses, fostering a supportive and resilient organizational culture.
- Technological Crisis, Cybersecurity Crisis: When facing technological or cybersecurity crises, the ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations and collaborate effectively under pressure is vital. Agile EQ assists in developing the agility needed to respond to these challenges, while Productive Conflict can help in managing disagreements or stress-induced conflicts constructively.
- Confrontation Crisis, Workplace Violence: In confrontational situations or instances of workplace violence, resolving conflicts while maintaining a safe and respectful environment is key. Productive Conflict provides strategies to understand and harness the constructive potential of conflict, enabling better resolution and de-escalation of tensions.
- Malevolence Crisis, Rumors: In situations involving malevolence or damaging rumors, maintaining team cohesion and trust is essential. Agile EQ helps individuals adapt their emotional responses appropriately, fostering a climate of trust and open communication, which is crucial for countering misinformation and malicious acts.
- Organizational Misdeeds, Regulatory and Compliance Crisis: When dealing with crises stemming from organizational misdeeds or compliance issues, leaders need high emotional intelligence to navigate the ethical and legal complexities. Agile EQ can support leaders in making more ethical and empathetic decisions, while Productive Conflict can aid in addressing and resolving internal disagreements and ethical dilemmas constructively.
- Product Recall, Financial Crisis: In these high-stakes situations, the ability to manage stress, communicate effectively, and resolve conflicts is paramount. Agile EQ helps in adapting emotional responses to engage stakeholders effectively, while Productive Conflict ensures that internal debates and decisions are handled in a way that contributes to a solution rather than exacerbating the crisis.
- Loss of Key Personnel: The sudden loss of key individuals can be destabilizing. Agile EQ can help remaining team members adapt to new roles and responsibilities, while maintaining emotional stability. Productive Conflict ensures that any disagreements about succession or changes in roles are handled constructively.
In your role as an internal consultant or manager, integrating Everything DiSC Agile EQ and Everything DiSC Productive Conflict solutions into your crisis management strategies can significantly enhance the ability of leaders and teams to navigate various crises more effectively. These tools can aid in developing the necessary skills to respond to crises with agility, emotional intelligence, and constructive conflict management.