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The BCI has published its first research report looking at attitudes to crisis management. The survey based report was sponsored by International SOS.

The top findings from the report include:

Crisis management is becoming increasingly centralised within organizations – which is leading to greater success: 79.7 percent of organizations have either entirely centralised their crisis management processes or have adopted a hybrid approach where regions/sites are allowed some degree of autonomy to manage their own events. A purely regional approach in a global organization is much less likely to be successful: 81.3 percent of organizations that had a centralised/ hybrid approach to crisis management reported ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ crisis management capabilities compared to 68.0 percent who adopted a regional approach.

Crisis management is no longer purely about best-in-class processes – the people in your organization are integral to a good crisis management programme: The two leading working practices which practitioners indicate will change post-pandemic are 1) a more collaborative approach to a crisis and 2) that staff health and wellbeing will be considered as an integral part of the response.

Good crisis management needs strong leadership: Senior management lead crisis management in four out of five organizations. The engagement of senior management within the crisis management process helps to ensure every worker in an organization is aware of the importance of crisis management and also appreciative of their own role in a crisis.

Crisis planning is becoming more agile and adaptive: Many organizations found that lengthy pandemic plans were not fit for purpose over the past 18 months: less than half of organizations reported their crisis plan was effective during the pandemic. However, three-quarters of those who had an ineffective plan reported they were able to quickly adapt and either wrote a new plan at the start of the pandemic or modified existing plans to make them more relevant to COVID-19. Having pre-planned suggested responses to some of the likely ‘symptom’ scenarios for a ‘respiratory virus’ allowed a swift adaptation of the wider plan to a COVID-19 specific one.

Business continuity is starting to take a more strategic role in crises: The pandemic has helped to propel the importance of having a good business continuity programme to senior management – and this has led to many business continuity professionals being brought in to help advise on whether a new strategic direction is viable from a business continuity perspective. Some management teams have also realised that due to business continuity’s ‘helicopter view’ of the whole organization, they are well-placed to help guide the organization in strategic planning.

Technology has been crucial in enabling a good response to a crisis: Just 1.2 percent of organizations say technology has had ‘no role’ in their response to COVID-19. Whilst there are those tools which have been widely adopted as the norm during the pandemic (e.g. Microsoft Teams), other organizations are now looking towards more specialist tools such as virtual crisis room technologies to actively manage the whole of the crisis.

Read the report.

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