Awareness During Disruption

As promised last week this blog is the second in a series of blogs about awareness. Why? Because of the upcoming Risk Awareness Week running online globally in October that I am presenting at. Last week I wrote about awareness from a safety perspective. This week I’m writing about awareness from the perspective of an organisation responding to a major business disruption such a fire or the sudden loss of a CEO. 

There are three things needed to manage a major disruption: 

Decision Making – Key word is process. What is the process that you will follow for decision making? Often in disruption the standard processes don’t work. People are not available or the timeframes are such that normal governance processes need to be bypassed. 

Information Management – Key word is reporting. Decision makers need information for decision making. That means staff need to know what they need to report and to whom and the timeframes expected. Add to that, they also need to report the quality of the information. That is, how certain vs uncertain is the information being provided. 

Communication Strategy – Key word is awareness. Once decision makers have made a decision or decisions with respect to the response to the disruption, key stakeholders need to be made aware of their decision(s). At times of major disruption, often normal communication flows are themselves disrupted. Plus staff and other stakeholders such as customers, regulators and the media are listening with bias. They are making their own assumptions about the situation. So your communication strategy must be very clear on the awareness you need to create and with whom. 

As with safety. You can have all kinds of processes in place but they are not worth much if you don’t create the awareness needed.