Training in crisis response prepares companies for the inevitable
When it comes to the potential for a multi-national corporation to face a crippling crisis in just about any corner of the globe, security professionals don’t mince words: Anything can happen. At any time. Anywhere. And, when it does, there’s a good chance there will be an MNC in the cross-hairs. In fact, some experts, such as Mr. Ital Dar, Chief Consulting Officer for the global security leader MAX, take that prediction even further. “It’s only a matter of time until an organization – any organization – does face a crisis,” he warns.
It isn’t hard to find compelling evidence to support his thesis, either. It’s not uncommon for MNCs to have operations in global hotspots where there’s a heightened chance of violent extremism or political turmoil. But even presumably “safe” places frequently see their share of labor unrest, lone wolf attacks, or workplace violence, to name a few of the risks companies might encounter. Can anyone imagine, for example, MNCs operating in a sophisticated nation with an advanced economy suddenly brought up short by an apparent coup attempt? Of course they can.
Whether a disruption comes from a disgruntled employee, ISIL operatives, civil unrest, or another quarter, it stands to exact a heavy toll on companies that are unprepared or lack training in crisis response methods that can mitigate damages.
A lack of preparation is a crisis in itself
“The scale and nature of the risks will vary, but the implications of any incident might be very significant,” MAX’s Mr. Dar noted. Many MNCs now understand that crisis of some sort is all but inevitable in the long run, he added. Those risks can emerge at any time, but they are likely to be especially damaging at sensitive times, such as when a company is facing or engaged in high-stakes activities like mergers, acquisitions or reorganization.
Increasingly, MNCs are recognizing that their most prudent and effective response to such volatility is to prepare in advance, with crisis response training that lays the groundwork for it to pivot from normal operations to effective decision-making in the midst of crisis. Crisis response training from a proven provider ensures that the systems and procedures to cope effectively will be in place when they are needed.
One size does not fit all when it comes to crisis response training
While it is possible for companies to secure specific training services a la carte, most experts recommend taking a comprehensive approach in order to avoid unwelcome gaps in training. Because each operation will have distinctive circumstances and factors, a comprehensive approach to training is generally the better way to tailor crisis response tools and solutions to meet specific needs.
Typically, comprehensive crisis response training can be broken down into four broad phases, beginning with Consultations to uncover all of the pertinent factors and explore potential risks. This information gathering phase allows consultants to assess risks and recommend responses with an understanding of local conditions and who the players are.
Phase 2 consists of Crisis Response Training itself, operationalizing the plan developed through the consultations. At this point, a team of crisis response experts is deployed to the site to address the threats identified during the first phase, generally with a particular focus on facility security and executive protection.
The third phase is a Facility Security Audit during which the consultants perform risk assessments for specific concerns identified in the first phase. This on-site analysis is the basis for recommendations aimed at examining the company’s existing crisis response capabilities.
In the final phase, the consultants will synthesize the findings from the previous assessments into an Audit Implementation Program that offers both short- and long-term solutions. These might entail the creation of a core quick response team trained to make decisions in the midst of a crisis, processes that allow for ongoing Intelligence gathering and continuous situation analysis, or physical security support resources, including personnel and specific security measures.
The risks may vary, but the need to respond adequately never does
If the nature of business risks can vary – along with conditions on the ground such as local culture, environment, political realities, and corporate imperatives – one thing remains constant: no MNC can take for granted its ability to respond appropriately to crisis in the heat of the moment.
The threats are real, and the stakes are high. Against that backdrop, there’s really no alternative to being fully prepared to respond.
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