Crisis Management

Become crisis ready and respond with confidence

Crisis management involves many functions and many parts of an organisation. It is more than incident management or crisis communications: a crisis can come from an unresolved issue too. It is about leadership as much as structure; team-working as much as process.

True strategic crises do not happen every day – they are abnormal events that threaten the reputational, commercial and strategic interests of an organisation. A crisis response is often a defining moment in the careers of leaders, teams and the wider organisation.

We offer a full suite of services in strategic crisis preparedness and crisis response. We are there for our clients when crises strike, offering advice and support wherever it is needed; just as importantly, we lead programmes for our clients to prepare their people, systems, structures and leaders.

How Deloitte can help

Crisis preparedness assessments

Understand how crisis ready your organisation is.

Senior executives, board members and investors all recognise that a badly managed crisis can destroy an organisation’s reputation and lead to commercial, strategic and financial damage. They are understandably keen, therefore, to ensure their organisation is ‘crisis ready’.

Our Crisis Preparedness Assessment Tool® examines an organisation’s crisis management capability at any or all levels: by function, geography, business unit or across the entire organisation. It identifies areas of existing crisis resilience and weakness, and can be used at the start of a crisis management improvement programme or as a post-crisis assessment. The tool can be used as part of an in-depth analysis, with our consultants conducting interviews and extensive desk research to complete the tool, or as part of a workshop which allows an organisation’s representatives to ‘self-assess’ through facilitated discussion and challenge.

The assessment can be used as benchmark in subsequent years to track and quantify enhancements in crisis preparedness.

Crisis management planning

Advice on crisis structure, crisis process, crisis plans and programme roll-out.

For an organisation to be truly ‘crisis ready’, it needs to have the right crisis management policies, leadership, structure and competence in place. Having a good crisis capability – and maintaining it over time – needs regular attention.

  • Create a crisis management capability, by bringing strategic crisis management to an existing organisational resilience framework that may already include operational and/or functional crisis preparedness.
  • Align crisis management structure, process and documentation with other aspects of organisational resilience, such as business continuity and incident management.
  • Develop crisis management plans, policies, standards and toolkits to guide an organisation’s crisis response.
  • Keep crisis management capability live and updated, by finding ways to ensure a culture of continuous reflection and improvement.
  • Improve crisis management capability in a specific area, such as leadership, geography or function.
  • Create wider awareness of crisis management structures and processes, by devising and running roll-out programmes of workshops and webinars.
  • Revise crisis management policy and process in light of change, adapting crisis plans, structures and processes to a new organisational design.
  • Change an organisation’s crisis management thinking by, for example, bringing issue-driven risks into what might be a heavily incident-focused crisis capability.

Crisis management training

A suite of training and coaching sessions to prepare your people to face a crisis.

Structures, processes and plans are essential elements of an organisation’s crisis preparedness. But it is people who actually manage the crisis.

Crisis-ready organisations need crisis leaders, facilitators, spokespeople and key team members who are trained and ready to perform vital roles in the most challenging of circumstances.

All of our crisis management courses are highly interactive and practical, bringing the theory to life and sharing our crisis response experiences. But no two sessions are quite the same – we tailor our crisis training to the specific needs of the individual, group and organisation.

Our crisis management training courses include:

  • Crisis management best practice.
  • Crisis leadership training.
  • Media spokesperson training.
  • Crisis management team training.
  • Incident management training.
  • Crisis HR team training.
  • Crisis communication training.
  • Media response team training.
  • Relative and community response team training.
  • Information management – situational awareness and decision making under pressure.
  • Log keeper training.
  • Crisis exercises.

Crisis management exercises

Rehearse and test your people and processes.

A crisis exercise rehearses an organisation’s crisis management capability: it provides a motivating learning experience for people whilst checking the strength of crisis policies, structures and processes.

Each exercise is unique, designed to test specific elements of a crisis response. We can test:

  • Functional teams such as communications, legal and HR.
  • Different tiers of a crisis response such as local, regional, business and group or corporate.
  • Crisis escalation procedures, information flow and mobilisation.
  • Crisis leaders, teams and decision-making.
  • Crisis templates, tools, and guidance notes.
  • And can involve partners, suppliers, customers and emergency services.

Whatever is being tested and in whatever format, the key to a good crisis exercise is a well-researched scenario that provides a realistic context for the exercise. In a full crisis simulation, the exercise will unfold through a variety of realistic injects delivered by role players and exercise facilitators. We work with subject matter experts and use professional journalists, actors and our proprietary communications simulator to create realistic media, stakeholder and consumer pressure.

CR24 – 24/7 issues resolution and crisis response support

Managing a complex issue or fast-moving crisis is extremely challenging. We have advised on some of the most high-profile crises and toughest reputational challenges in recent corporate history.

CR24 provides organisations with the support they need to manage a crisis. It guarantees immediate access to experienced crisis management professionals that you would want from a 24/7 service.

But it also provides much more. Some of the highest profile crises in corporate history have come from unresolved issues. If suddenly triggered by an event, an issue can escalate into a full blown crisis and put organisations under immediate and intense scrutiny.

By being available to provide ad hoc counsel and advice, we can help you resolve issues before they escalate into crises and ensure that if the worst happens, you can respond effectively.

Our CR24 service includes:

  • Guaranteed live crisis response support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via a dedicated crisis phone number. In that first call we determine how to best support our clients based on the situation they find themselves in. Find out more about our Live Crisis Response Support.
  • Helping you resolve issues, before they escalate into a crisis. In these initial chats we help clients understand how events may escalate and what actions they can take to minimise reputational impact.
  • Enhancing crisis response capability. We give clients two days to help them become better prepared to mitigate and respond to a live crisis. Support provided is tailored to client needs but typically can include: observing crisis exercises and providing feedback; running development sessions and learning from recent real-world crises, reviewing or updating crisis plans or coaching junior colleagues.
  • Access to the best issues and crisis management thinking. Our CR24 clients are extremely important to us. They form an exclusive group invited to networking events, given discounted access to the leading crisis management conferences that we organise or at which we present and provided the latest crisis management thinking.

Live crisis response support

Support from specialist crisis management consultants when you most need it.

We have advised on some of the most high-profile crises and toughest reputational challenges in recent corporate history.

Our crisis response support includes:

  • Strategic advice as members of the crisis management team.
  • Crisis communication advice and support, ranging from developing communication strategies and messaging, to coaching media spokespeople, media management and implementing stakeholder engagement programmes. We can also provide extra capacity and capability to smaller press offices.
  • Crisis leadership coaching for the crisis team leader or other senior executives.
  • Crisis facilitation or coordination support in a ‘chief of staff’ role.

Post crisis review and recovery

Understand how your crisis processes and people fared during a crisis, and use the ‘crisis opportunity’ to effect change.

We help clients identify and learn lessons from a crisis response and improve crisis preparedness. We work with those involved in the response and the wider stakeholder community to carry out a crisis review assessing the impact the crisis had on the organisation and its licence to operate.

We also help organisations understand what went wrong in the first place, make organisational improvements and seek to make good on the promise that this will ‘never happen again’.

And we provide advice and implementation support as the organisation looks to win back trust and recover reputation. Indeed, a crisis can represent a turning point for an organisation. It provides a window of opportunity for an organisation’s leaders to fundamentally change and improve direction, purpose, values and strategy.