Talking of Crisis Management ... Elisabet Viladomiu – Risk, Crisis and Resilience Director

What are the trends in crisis management for the coming years?

Companies are going to focus more on culture than on protocols as the means to manage crisis situations. Culture that will be translated in three basic aspects: firstly prevention, the capacity to be prepared in front of any situation, regardless of whether or not it is new or unexpected; secondly, the ability to analyse, and to know how to analyse what has been done in past situations; and thirdly, and very importantly, the ability to relate permanently to all environments.

What does it take for an organisation to be resilient?

It requires conscious awareness that a crisis situation, that may or may not have been planned for, might need to be faced at any time. In other words, it requires a culture that recognises that, even in periods of normality, there may be situations that put business continuity, reputation , or even the core business activity itself at risk.

Are you suggesting that having management plans, protocols, etc., is not enough? ... What is it then that really makes a company ready?

In reality, it is not enough to have management plans or protocols. What really makes a company is prepared is the capacity to recognise the points of improvement that must be applied to deal with a crisis situation. Also, the most important thing is being prepared to understand that the company will not be able to solve the crisis alone: the recognition that social complexity requires a continuous interaction with all the surrounding environments.

Do you think that, currently, companies are prepared to face crises?

Unfortunately, there are still many companies that have neither the minimum preparation, nor the minimum culture, nor the necessary plans to face crisis situations. Every day we come across examples of crisis situations that affect either the business or the reputation of many companies far more than they would have done if the company had been better prepared.  Only about 20% of the companies in this country are prepared to face a crisis.

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