Is it a mistake to rely on day-to-day management structures to manage a crisis?

Experience has shown that businesses that rely solely on management teams to handle a crisis usually fail miserably, typically due to them focussing on just one issue at a time. During a major incident, organisations must be able to implement a structure that enables them to conquer a series of issues at any one time.


This is a phenomenon that we first encountered when watching our sons play football, which invariably involved a swarm of children following the ball around the pitch like bees. Overtime, their coach started to introduce a team structure and roles which enabled them to control the game, rather than react to it. This, of course, took time and not everyone was pleased with their allocated positions on the field.


Most organisations fail to create a dedicated crisis management capability that’s based around function rather than position, which is distinct from the day-to-day management structure. The result is that when the crisis happens, too often the ‘swarming bee’ approach is apparent.


Working with clients to enhance their critical incident and crisis response capability, whatever their size or sector, invariably involves similar steps:

· Step 1: Observing and highlighting the ‘swarming bee’ phenomenon.

· Step 2: Teaching the principles of gold, silver and bronze.

· Step 3: Understanding each organisation’s specific needs and requirements.

· Step 4: Identifying and allocating individuals to functional decision-making levels, irrespective of position or authority.

· Step 5: Running a table top drill to build cohesion and progress from re-active thinking to a pro-active stance.

· Step 6: Running a realistic drill to experience time-compression and making decisions in a void.


Once a client has gone through all the above steps they find that their day-to-day management team have become very effective crisis managers.


To find out more about how we can help your organisation, give us a call on 01983 564 917.