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Spring Journal

Volume 31, Issue 1

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017 16:25

The Year in Crisis: Headlines, Horrors and Lessons for Leaders

It’s been a busy year for crises for people and companies alike.

Some of the largest, best-known brands found themselves under fire for months, many with a series of scandals that just kept coming. Some of these crises were caused directly by the caught-on-video bad behavior of key executives, such as Uber’s founder and former CEO, Travis Kalanick. A variety of misconduct crises have dominated the headlines, especially the scores of allegations of sexual harassment and assault that continue to capture attention in the news media, in the workplace and with lawmakers.

In many of these crises, the original problems were exacerbated when leaders underestimated the impact of the event and their communications were (rightfully) met with anger and hostility. Yet despite the rising numbers of crises facing organizations of all kinds, the number of those with crisis management and communication plans in place stubbornly hovers around fifty percent. What will it take to convince executives of the need to prepare for, and more important, to prevent crises from happening in the first place? The investment is a pittance compared to the cost to repair and repent.