29 April 2007

Crisis Management: Corporate 4GW...

Crisis Management is getting the increased attention of Board Directors in light of the latest disclosure rules. And Eric Dezenhall's new book is out in collaboration with John Weber and the excerpt is in the latest issue of Board Member. There are 10 crises that are outlined in the article:
  1. Corporate Mission Creep
  2. The Demise of Science
  3. Outspent and Outgunned
  4. Is Junior Covering Your Crisis?
  5. Wall Street War Zone
  6. Everyone's a Pundit
  7. Make 'em Laugh
  8. Your Brand is a Target
  9. Protecting Intellectual Property
  10. The Porous Corporation
Damage Control: Why Everything You Know About Crisis Management Is Wrong. Much of the conventional wisdom about damage control and crisis PR is self-serving, self- congratulatory, self-deceiving—and flat out wrong. And no one knows it better than Eric Dezenhall and John Weber, who have helped countless companies, politicians, and celebrities get out of various kinds of trouble.

If you’re facing a lawsuit, a sex scandal, a defective product, or allegations of insider trading, other PR experts will tell you to stay positive, get your message out, and everything will be just fine. But happy talk doesn’t help much during a real crisis, and it’s easy to lose sight of your real priorities. In a trial, for instance, you might want the whole world to think you’re a wonderful person, but all that matters is whether twelve jurors think you’re guilty.

#10 caught our eye because this discusses the fact that insiders in the organization have a growing powerbase. Fueled with new tools to capture information in real-time and post it to an off site blog or other online location makes the time between the confidential event and the public disclosure become minutes not just hours. Mr. Dezenhall is clear to point out that the new crisis manager is involved in constant monitoring and taking on a more preemptive and preventive mission. Call it "Damage Control" he says.

As the lines begin to blur between corporate roles of crisis management, brand management, public relations, competitive marketing, fraud management and reputation control, so too does the level of Operational Risk. When you have so many individuals responsible for keeping a handle on potential crises as they are uncovered by a tip, a leak or the whistleblower hotline there is an increasing risk of a lack of an effective Incident Management System.

The blogosphere is just another version of the age old online bulletin board on broadband steroids. Skilled journalists who have for years operated in the mainstream media have their own blog on the online site of the offline magazine or newspaper. The power of "Time to Press" is now a matter of the source and the reach of the blog community. Why does Fox Interactive Media own MySpace?

Savvy Board of Directors realize the value of having an open and transparent approach to the governance of the organization. Even as we speak the newest data on executive compensation, perks, bonus or golden parachutes are being published and communicated by online-based data bases. And with all of this transparency and the fact that all of the data is discoverable in an internal investigation or external litigation makes it imperative that management manage this risk proactively. Not after the fact, reactively.

Corporate Risk Intel is nothing new and over the past five years has blossomed into a mandatory high technology business unit within corporate enterprises. The people, processes, systems and tools require a combination of capabilities, expertise and raw instinct. Extensions of Open Source Intel (OSINT) are fueling the internal "Damage Control" department across the globe. The "Porous Corporation" is quickly becoming a modern day forum for survival of the fittest and other Darwinian strategies of "Adaptation".

Over a year ago, this same topic was addressed in adapting to a corporate (4GW) 4th Generation Warfare Paradigm.

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