Crisis Simulation Exercises
Our experience has taught us that even well written crisis plans can fail if they are not tested periodically with crisis simulation training exercises.
The worst time to discover a problem with the plan is in the midst of a crisis.
As part of our comprehensive crisis management planning process, we recommend that organizations conduct regular crisis simulation training.
Every leader and manager should realize that a crisis will strike sooner or later. The best of them also recognizes the value of planning and preparedness in mitigating the effects of an issue or crisis. Clients tell us that the kinds of potential crises that keep them awake at night often deal with human behavior and the kinds of issues that can explode without warning.
This is where crisis simulation training comes in. Simulation training brings together the crisis response team—or a subset of it—to walk through a situation and practice using the crisis management and communications plans to determine if they work as designed. Simulation training can help expose gaps in the plans, issues to address, and areas of the company’s business continuity planning that may need to be improved upon.
Tabletop exercises are an inexpensive simulation training investment that helps key players improve their own personal preparedness. Tabletops may also highlight opportunities for improvement in processes, policies and planning.
The simulation training can challenge the team with a scenario that may seem unlikely but could have an outsize impact on the organization. Done regularly, simulation training helps the crisis response team to build its skills and capabilities, improving the ability to respond to a variety of crises with consistency, coherence and confidence.
Deborah Hileman, SCMP
ICM President and CEO
CEO Expertise for Every Client
Deborah Hileman, SCMP, President and CEO. A certified strategic communication management professional (SCMP), business leader, coach and consultant with more than 35 years’ experience in public and private companies and non-profit organizations, Ms. Hileman has led high-performing communications and marketing teams in health care, manufacturing, insurance and financial services, nonprofits and higher education. Her most significant areas of expertise include strategic communications planning and reputation/crisis management, change management, employee engagement and communication training.