Check Your Level of Crisis Management Maturity

If there was a crisis, how well prepared would your organisation be to deal with it? While scales of preparedness can only be relative, the following model may help to evaluate the situation. Adapted from part of a presentation at the DEP Expo 2012 on Site Location Response Teams by Martin McNamara, each of the four categories has three defining bullet points. According to the ones you tick, you’ll see if your organisation falls into any particular category of crisis management maturity.

Pathological (We cross our fingers and hope for the best)

  • Crisis management is not singled out by top management as important
  • Crisis management is unplanned
  • Response varies according to the individual, with no team in place

Reactive (At least we have some tools)

  • Top management admits crisis management needs attention, although follow-through is limited
  • Responses to crises benefit from a minimum of control and some resources in the organisation
  • Team-oriented action exists, although without pre-crisis preparation

Proactive (We’re organised to deal with crises effectively and efficiently)

  • Top management stresses the importance of crisis management
  • The organisation deals with crises in a methodical way with the right people at the right time
  • Prior preparation and structured teamwork to help the organisation recover as a whole

Generative (We don’t just deal with crises when they happen – we also prevent them)

  • Top management measures effectiveness of crisis response
  • The organisation as a whole understands and works according to the importance of crisis management
  • Business continuity is assured whatever the severity of the crisis

As with change programs in general, evolution towards increasing maturity is a matter of moving from one level to the next, rather than aiming to move, say, from “pathological” to “generative” in one go.