Effective crisis management program

Your expert for questions

Jens Greiner is Director, Forensic Services at PwC Deutschland

Jens Greiner
Director, Forensic Services at PwC Deutschland
Tel: +49 69 9585-5831

Stay in control when unforeseeable events occur

Organisations that emerge stronger from a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic have not just found luck in their misfortune: Successful crisis management is a process that requires a clear strategy, a detailed plan and the engagement of the right team. So simply put, look at crisis management as a program! Just as when you train your muscles, what matters is having the endurance that will allow you and your team to internalise the knowledge you have learned.

Don’t wait for the “big bang” – be prepared for the next crisis and strengthen the capacity of your organisation now by integrating assessment of your crisis management capability as a permanent component and goal of your corporate governance.

Preventive crisis management allows you to ensure that all of the means required to overcome a crisis are already in place before a disruptive event arises. Our crisis experts will support you in developing, implementing and integrating an enterprise-wide crisis management program that is well tailored to your organisation.

Mastering crises effectively

Creating a program aligned with your strategy and culture

Pandemics, natural disasters, data theft or other internal conflicts and incidents: The term ‘crisis’ is broadly defined, and such disruptive events can therefore cause widely varying losses to individual organisations and perhaps even their reputation. When developing a program for your crisis management, our experts will focus on your organisation. The program can only be successful by taking account of your cultural, financial and business characteristics, the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation and your strategy and objectives.

Strengthening the resilience of your company with an effective crisis management program

Benefit from the wide ranging experience of our PwC crisis team and work with us to develop a program for your crisis management that will prepare your organisation for crises during the peacetime: the normal working day. Make a habit of assessing internal and external risks and sufficiently preparing your organisation for crises.

Integrating the program strategy will allow your company to respond quickly and appropriately in a crisis.

Components of our crisis management program

The entire world has experienced it first-hand very recently: A crisis can occur at any time and can escalate rapidly. We will work with you to develop a program for your crisis management that will prepare you for unforeseeable disruptive events. An effective crisis management program generally include:

  • Guiding principles, purpose and scope
  • Program governance structure that defines executive sponsorship, oversight and accountability
  • Relevant response plans
  • Training and awareness
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • A defined approach to engaging external vendors and third-party support services, as needed
  • Crisis management tools and technology

Challenges for an effective crisis management program

What are the criteria for evaluating and escalating an incident?

What criteria do you use in your organisation to evaluate and address incidents? What factors can you influence and what options do you have to allow you to exert immediate and appropriate actions? Are you making full use of your room for maneuver? Are the roles and responsibilities for actions clear? In order to address these fundamental questions, when developing your program we work together with you to identify and prioritise the risks to your business and the strategies you have designed in a way that suits you and your culture.

Who decides whether, when and how to respond?

Corporate governance and management has an imperative role to play in a crisis. This is because what matters now is reaching vital decisions for which responsibility must be exerted. In times of crisis no time can be wasted. A right governance model defines authorities of relevant individuals for key decision making and the crisis management team nominates additional key individuals from multi-disciplines such as IT, marketing or finance.

How are lessons learned from past crises integrated into your response as part of continuous improvement?

Experience is a hard teacher – which may explain why 15% of German organisations in our survey indicated that they are in a better position today than before the COVID-19 crisis. They have responded rapidly and in an agile way and compensated for existing weaknesses, as an example, by digitising core processes, identifying alternative sources of supply, or executing an outstanding communications strategy. An effective crisis management program allows you to translate past mistakes into valuable “lessons learned”.

What technology and tools do you need?

An effective crisis management program should hinge to a large extent on digital technologies. Do you have various tools and applications for crisis management? Are these consolidated to provide you with a single source of truth, or are they operating in silos? Do you have suitable collaboration tools for efficient crisis communication? Do you use application-specific tools for your business continuity management? Our crisis experts will recommend and train you to use your existing IT resources and will advise you in relation to appropriate ways to supplement these.

What is your strategy for communicating with stakeholders?

A crisis often appears threatening. It is therefore of importance that leadership and management communicates in an authentic and coherent way, particularly when unplanned disruptive events arise. No-nonsense communication by management is an integral component of a crisis management system even before a crisis strikes. It is imperative that all employees understand what to do in a crisis. By setting a clear program that all employees are considered, you create a feeling of safety that will have a long lasting positive impact on the culture in your organisation.

How PwC can help you to develop your crisis management program

As external consultants we can offer your organisation not only our deep expertise, but also we look at it with an outside view. We focus on your organisational resilience in the face of crisis and develop a tailored program strategy that prepares you for all types of crisis situations. We define a governance model and appropriate crisis management team. We work with you to plan for various crisis scenarios and evaluate the severity of each of the potential scenarios and identify escalation triggers. At the end, you get a practical roadmap and far-reaching crisis management experience. In addition to an implementation plan, we will also work with you to develop a process for the continuous optimisation of your crisis management program – in this way, you can improve it independently on an ongoing basis.

Benefit from our experience

Our experts in the area of crisis management have extensive experience in preparing for, responding to, and emerging stronger from crises and have been working side by side with our clients for many years – both during acute crises and for crisis prevention.

We will work with you to develop a crisis management program that has been tailored to your organisation and will strategically prepare your organisation to mobilise and stabilise itself when disruptive events arise.

See crisis management as a training program. The internalisation of crisis strategies and courses of action will sustainably strengthen your company and provide for a large degree of resilience.

Follow us

Contact us

Jens Greiner

Jens Greiner

Director, Forensic Services, PwC Germany

Tel: +49 175 3532089