crisis managementIn our personal lives, many of us talk about having a “Plan B” or “saving for a rainy day.” It probably comes as no surprise when you learn that most companies have backup plans for many business scenarios, but have you ever stopped to think about exactly why and how planning for crises that may never happen can make for a more secure company down the road?

Planning for the future pinpoints current, fixable flaws.

In order to develop a plan to cope with a crisis, a company, department or contractedfirm must first do in-depth research to determine the business’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their assets and shortcomings. In order to properly plan for handling surprises, intimate knowledge of the company is of the utmost importance. When a business is analyzed in depth, cracks in the system as it exists are often discovered and can be addressed in the present to avoid a potential disaster in the future.

Creative thinking leads to dynamic adaptation.

When developing a plan for potential crises, the staff working on the project must develop a creative thought process. They must anticipate a variety of problems that may arise, whether financial, structural or environmental, and brainstorm potential solutions to avert or respond to each type of crisis. Of course, the employees working on the plans have to work within the letter of the law, but they must address the multiple aspects of a crisis that need to be handled, such as public relations, containment and, perhaps, cleanup.

Of course, crises rarely ever happen according to the book (it wouldn’t be a crisis if it did), so a business needs its employees to be prepared for whatever comes their way. When a staff is accustomed to thinking outside of the box for crisis planning, employees are likely dynamic enough to adapt to any challenge the company faces. They become equally strong during periods of healthy growth and times of crisis.

Immediate response lessens the severity of the crisis.

No company wants to deal with a crisis, but if plans are in place for tackling a crisis, it can be dealt with almost immediately, decreasing the total damage. Addressing a crisis is frequently called “damage control” for a reason: There’s no changing the fact that something bad has happened, but the company can control the amount of damage by responding immediately. By addressing the crisis right away, the company doesn’t have to reallocate unnecessary funds, time and effort to solving the problem. It was solved in the past, and they know how to handle it efficiently going forward.

Crisis management planning may seem negative, but when a company spends time addressing any potential problems, it strengthens itself in the present day and for the future.