About the Crisis Leadership Forum

To better understand the leadership dimensions of crisis situations, the Center for Creative Leadership convened a forum with formal and emergent leaders who played a role in Hurricane Katrina. We overlaid this conversation between crisis leaders with the perspectives of discussants with expertise in disaster, terrorism, public health, and leadership. This blog site is intended to continue this conversation.

To read the report on the Crisis Leadership Forum, please click here.

To read CCL's Leading Effectively newsletter on the Forum, please click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Leading Toward Preparedness

According to a recent report by New York University’s Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response and The Public Entity Risk Institute, crisis preparedness remains low within many organizations throughout the United States.

As the report mentions, future crises will most likely only increase in frequency and complexity. Technological advances, globalization, and continually greater inter-organizational dependence result in a society where what affects one organization will most likely affect others. So when disaster strikes, leaders will need to become ever cognizant of how rapidly changing environments may affect them. For example, hurricanes could disrupt a corporation’s supply chain, which in turn could adversely affect its workers and customers.

It is surprising—and alarming—that organizations continue to operate without enough attention to how their leaders should address crises. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that some organizations may treat crisis leadership as a segmented organizational function, for example, making it the sole responsibility of the business continuity planning department. But history and research are beginning to show that crisis preparation may be most effective when addressed in a holistic, systemic, and ongoing fashion—not when it is relegated to another set of checklists and conference-room meetings.

Access the full report here.

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