Are Crisis Management Plans Strategically Important? Just Ask BP

As a professional I’ve seen the high level of planning dedicated to crisis management at a multinational corporation, which is why I’m completely baffled by the response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  I have watched, in disbelief, long enough to know this environmental tragedy was foreseeable and could’ve been at best averted and at the very least planned for minimum impact when disaster struck.

I have learned recently that when responding to a crisis many companies make one fundamental mistake, which is focusing on their expertise (what they know best). There are, however, other elements that impact a relationship genuinely based on trust.  Amazingly the companies involved in this mess have managed to botch their alleged expertise on managing off-shore drilling and its collateral impact to employee safety and the fragile ecosystems around their extraction operations.

I don’t portend to come across as an expert on the field of Crisis Management, but I’ve been through the wringer enough times to pin point a number of mistakes.  The real experts seem to be in agreement that the response has been marked by a series of mistakes—akin to a comedy of errors:

BP spill response tars reputation


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