With less than five months until new operational resilience rules come into force, a lot of firms are starting to pull together the various elements of their Operational Resilience programme.
As the framework moves from theory into reality, clients often seek reassurance that it will survive a real severe scenario. At this point we highlight that a key piece of the jigsaw appears to be missing – crisis leadership.
The regulators make it explicit that there needs to be a pro-active communication strategy based around a robust communication plan. But if you have ever tried to communicate in the midst of a critical incident, when chaos is the order of the day, you will realise that is easier said than done.
Why? Leaders who aren’t given crisis leadership training invariably try to keep their cards close to their chest until they have a clear understanding of what is going on. This internal perspective is fraught with danger, as rumour fills the void they leave.
To communicate proactively at time of crisis, as the regulators demand, our advice is to focus on developing and promulgating a “single truth” that any stakeholder can be given. Initially through a holding statement, but, as the crisis response progresses the nature of the single truth will evolve, how and when this is disseminated can be crafted by PR gurus to meet different stakeholders needs.
Although for many of our clients the driver for this programme is a mix of compliance and operations, we emphasise that, for a small investment in professional development training, delivers an opportunity to significantly to enhance their competitive advantage.