On Monday July 27th, 2020 Dr. Stephen Flynn, the Founding Director of GRI participated in the ISRM Virtual Conference – Day 1. The feedback from around the world about crisis management is nothing like we expected, and it feels that this was an event that had genuine value for the global audience of 900+ registrants.

The question as to how people and organizations can become genuinely good at managing crises is not only an interesting discussion point but a critical issue in the new ‘crisis as we are moving into a “new normal”. COVID-19 is a wake-up call, but it is only one of a wide range of critical challenges that the world is facing, more than a few of which have the ability to pose such high threats.

The first responsibility is to understand what a genuine crisis looks like. Phrases such as ‘black swan’, ‘grey rhino’ and ‘wicked problems’ have become part of the vocabulary used to try and describe this class of problem (which is good). However, as we have seen in multiple examples over the past months, it soon becomes clear that the vast majority of people who are using them do not understand what they mean, or their significance in terms of crisis planning and preparation (which is bad!). People tend to hear or talk about these specific terms and not know the correct way to use them or even describe them. Knowledge in crisis management is key. We can’t avoid global crisis’ (just as what is happening right now) but we can take the necessary measures to  deal with them correctly.

Crises by their very nature are rare. They are also almost always unique and overwhelming the response plans that had been put in place to deal with them. These are not unexpected challenges – they are natural to the very nature of a crisis event.

A lot of people have said that it has taken the concept of the COVID-19 webinar conference to the next level in terms of quality of presentations and round-table discussions. All three days presentations and discussions will be available on the ISRM YouTube channel.

Stephen Flynn – https://youtu.be/8e3OKulif8I

Discussion – https://youtu.be/KziogbO-1tc