From an accident that disrupts your supply chain to a firestorm in social media, companies manage minor crises all the time. It is a part of business as usual.
However, dealing with a major crisis is a different matter. A single mega-event – or a combination of them – can trigger crises that threaten the very survival of the business.
These kinds of crises lay bare the readiness and responsiveness of an organisation. They test a company’s values, leadership, and character at a time when there is no room for error.
The Caribbean is the location of choice for many organisations. However, the risk of devastating weather events, as well as other natural and human-made threats, require organisations to protect their most valuable assets.
Natural disasters, financial crimes, pandemics, cyberattacks, and other potential disasters present a clear and rising danger for all organisations.
The impact of such events hugely depends on an organisation’s crisis management plans as well as its readiness with respect to exercising those plans in timely and effectively manner.
As the Caribbean was reminded during the hurricane seasons of 2017 and 2019, and recently with the global COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters with long-lasting impact are an inherent risk for many islands in the region and, when such a crisis strikes, seconds count.
“It is paramount to accept the possibility of threats,” said Taron Jackman, Deloitte Risk Advisory leader for the Caribbean and Bermuda countries. “Crises demand the very best our clients can muster, testing their strength of character.”
When crises are managed well, stakeholder value can increase. And, of course, the opposite is also true. There is no surer way to destroy value than in failing to manage a significant crisis effectively.
Thus, executive management should consider key crisis management lessons learned in the aftermath of the global and Caribbean disasters, such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Dorian, as well as many recent cyber incidents.