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Crisis handling should avoid “all staff, no commander”

  The collective decision-making and collective responsibility of some companies are in fact no one is responsible and the collective lacks
  responsibility . A few days ago, the public relations person of a company asked me that in the face of the public relations crisis, the opinions of different departments of the company have their own priorities, and each has its own reasons. decision, what to do? I ask, exactly which department or which supervisor is responsible for the end result?
  Earlier, I prepared a response copy to help companies deal with sudden crises. The copy follows the principle of simplicity and conciseness. The main content is summarized in three sentences: express gratitude, make commitments, and reserve a follow-up communication path. However, after being reviewed one by one at different levels and several departments of the company, the response copy of about 200 words was changed to more than 1,500 words. As a result, this long-winded response with various shirks and excuses immediately angered the parties and made the crisis situation worse.
  Another time, when I was involved in a company’s strategy for dealing with a public relations crisis that was showing signs of deterioration, I first asked the other party, “Who is the first decision-maker and responsible person for handling this crisis?” A supervisor told me that they were making collective decisions. I further asked: “Then, I made a suggestion, and after your collective decision-making, Zhang San and Li Sidong discussed and discussed the strategy, no matter what the effect is, who is responsible for the strategy determined after various modifications and additions? How to evaluate my suggestion? Isn’t it bad?”
  The collective decision-making or responsibility pursued by this company is actually all about making ideas, but there is no final decision-making, and there is no person who is ultimately responsible. Those who come up with ideas are often based on partial or even selfish and narrow interests. I call this phenomenon “all staff, no commander”.
  How can we effectively avoid such a situation in which “all staff and no commander” will not help resolve the crisis, but may miss the opportunity and cause the crisis situation to worsen? The overall construction can be carried out from 3 aspects:
  One is the authorization mechanism. Nowadays, many enterprises have permanent public opinion and crisis response teams, but most of them adopt a collective decision-making mechanism without centralized authorization. Therefore, when I help companies compile public opinion and the working mechanism of crisis response teams, I will have targeted considerations. The key link is that when the emergency team has completed the analysis and judgment of public opinion and crisis facts, it must determine the first responsible person, and shift from collective behavior to centralized authorization, rather than simply merging the opinions of various departments. The first responsible person makes decisions and deployments. In order to clarify responsibilities and ensure accurate and effective crisis handling, the first responsible person needs to sign a power of attorney for formal clarification. Under this mechanism, task decomposition, process management, resource allocation, effect tracking, and strategic or tactical adjustment of crisis handling are coordinated.
  The second is professional ability. To be the first responsible person for crisis handling requires a strong comprehensive ability, not only to face the complex and ever-changing challenges of crisis handling, but also to be able to grasp the scale and advance and retreat of all aspects from the overall business strategy of the enterprise. For example, some enterprises have fallen into a “war of attrition” without considering the resources that can be mobilized and application efficiency when formulating crisis strategies. In practice, many companies will struggle with whether the person in charge of public relations or the leader of the company should be the first person responsible for crisis handling. I am more inclined to give priority to comprehensive ability rather than position, and then to evaluate the efficiency of resource allocation. After all, when the number one player comes into play, he either resolves the problem or creates a turning point, or it is a misallocation of resources. The confusion of some enterprises is that there is no internal ability to be the first responsible person for crisis handling. In this regard, long-term planning is required, and when there is no crisis, relevant capabilities can be reserved in advance through relevant training. If you encounter a crisis when you don’t have the ability, relying on external forces is a pragmatic option.
  The third is responsibility. No matter who takes the first responsibility for crisis handling, the emphasis is on the word “responsibility”. Dealing with crises is difficult because there is no experience that can be fully replicated, especially in an era when the public opinion environment is becoming more and more chaotic and full of uncertainty. Therefore, no crisis management can be easily faced. Then, the significance of the power of attorney actually supports the responsibility more heavily. To put it more seriously, the collective decision-making and collective responsibility of some enterprises are actually no one responsible, and the collective lack of responsibility. The so-called emergency team has been reduced to a formality. Either they speak out loudly but “slap each other in the face” or even blame and blame each other, or their professional opinions are interfered with by the will of the superior. The outcome is not the worst, but only worse.

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