Lessons Learned from Crisis Planning and Response from
1999 to 2009
As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, crisis managers and executives are faced with more uncertainty than ever. On the hazard front, myriad threats loom: political instability and terrorism; continued public health threats; an increasingly interconnected and complex, though not necessarily more resilient, utility infrastructure; and annually increasing death, damage, and disruption associated with extreme weather events.
Additionally, for private-sector planners, two other factors make crisis planning more challenging and more important. First, the business and political worlds are more interconnected, and following the economic crisis of 2008–2009, regulators and governments are taking a greater interest in the risk management of the firms operating in their jurisdictions. Second, as globalization expands the geographic footprint of many organizations, operating strategies are evolving in ways that make risk and crisis management more complex.
In such an environment, planners would do well to look to crises of the past ten years and take stock of what worked and didn’t during an exceptionally busy decade globally for crisis managers. And it’s possible the lessons learned by managers responsible for business continuity and crisis management may have broader relevance for managers of other types of crises, including for executives and economists concerned with the management of financial crisis.