The famous Dalai Lama once said: “if a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”
It is inevitable that issues will arise in any business, irrespective of its industry or sector. However, if issues are fixable, then, to take Dalai Lama’s point of view, there’s no need to worry about it – put a strategy in place to deal with the issue now. If you can see that the issue could escalate, create a contingency plan for when it does.
What makes an issue?
An issue is a concern which ruminates in your mind. Turning an issue over in your head for too long, wastes your time and energy. It’s best to face the issue head on and address it.
Poor communication of the issue can lead to additional problems and even a crisis.
Communicating poorly can cost a business both financially and lead to employees losing morale and quitting.
The longer you leave an issue, the bigger and more complex it gets.
How to see them coming
1. Have a robust internal communications strategy
Have an effective internal communications strategy addressing every element of your organisation. Strong internal communications are vital in helping your organisation run smoothly because they help team members feel informed and engaged about what’s happening at the top of the organisation. Having an effective internal communication strategy often mitigates issues as the wider team feels able to input their ideas into the solution.
“None of us is as strong as all of us.”
2. Invest in building a strategy
Hire a PR consultancy or a professional in-house to develop your strategy to address your issue before it grows into a money-sapping, time-wasting potential reputational catastrophe.
Planning could involve building a strategy to improve your day-to-day internal communications or creating a contingency plan to help you anticipate potential issues before they arise so you know how your business will address them.
3. Pre-crisis management
Preparing a crisis risk assessment to identify which issues can lead to a crisis will serve you well in the long-run when challenges inevitably crop up.
Investing in a specialist crisis management team will allow your organisation to have thorough risk assessments in place. Rather than preparing a contingency plan post-crisis, being prepared in advance will allow you to reduce the effect of issues that follow a crisis.
Don’t rely on one person to identify issues affecting your company. Open up the discussion to your wider team – particularly those in the sales and service front lines – they will tell you what’s going on ‘out there’ so you’re in a stronger position to minimise any disruption or reputational damage if and when the issue escalates.
As Warren Buffet says, “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Want to know more about how crisis management could help your business?
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