The Network Alert System

Step: 5
The Network Alert System

The best way to stop a crisis is to know when one is coming. A network alert system will help the organization stop a crisis before everything "hits the fan." Crisis management has three sequential objectives. The first is to prevent a crisis. If a crisis does arise then the crisis management team must begin by answering two questions: What is the crisis, and when did it start? Then the second objective of crisis management is to modify the negative effects of the company or product. Thirdly, the actions taken by the company provides a platform for the company's future.

The larger the organization gets, the harder it is for crisis to be prevented. There are lots of employees, product issues, advocate groups, investigations and safety issues that the organization has to continually monitor. The organization can maintain the edge on potential crisis by discovering which areas have the greatest potential for crisis.

A study done at Northwestern as a part of the Crisis Management Practica, discussed the real source of crisis. The study found seven common mistakes organizations made that led to more costly events. Erroneous ethics, incentive crisis, mixed values, stonewalling stakeholders, the Peter syndrome, walking with out a safety net and addiction to repetition were all sources that led to serious crisis.

Erroneous ethics describes a situation where management's ethics were responsible for the crisis. Incentive crisis are created when organizations offers employees benefits for improving productivity, but the employees windup selling the customers things they don't need. Mixed Values can be found when a company's ethics don't match those of their public. Stonewalling stakeholders was described as the worst sin of all. The company knows that something is wrong and they refuse to tell stakeholders the truth. The relationship between stakeholders and the organization is built on trust and stonewalling can destroy the company's credibility. Peter Syndrome takes place when the company refuses to take the blame or even regret for their actions. Walking with out a safety net occurs when there is a slow burning crisis that should have been anticipated. Organizations who repeat the same mistakes and who do not plan for the crisis are victims of addiction to repetition