In this article you will find different kinds of crisis management which have more or less failed. At the end of the article there are some advice for board members and CEOs.
“I was working closely with the CEO of a large public company facing a crisis a few years ago. The company was in the news for days and it is fair to say the management team, the board and many employees felt under siege. The company was being hauled onto the carpet for issues related to the disclosure of confidential customer information. Many on the team knew that the issue, while serious, was contained to a small number of cases and could easily be corrected. Unfortunately, their message wasn’t getting through and as such, the CEO and his management team planned a major news conference to apologize and present a forward-looking plan to resolve the issue once and for all.
The day prior to the announcement, I was with the CEO preparing him for the news conference. Late in the afternoon came word that the Board Chair would not be available to participate. This came as a shock to the team. The CEO and Board Chair had a positive relationship. On major issues they always stood together. Given their history, the CEO turned to me and murmured, “Something really important must have come up for him to miss this”. I suspected that there was more to the decision than a scheduling conflict. As it turned out, his decision was an intentional move to distance the Board from the CEO.
It was soon clear that the Board had their own crisis management plan to announce… the termination of the CEO. The Board eventually came to the conclusion that the public would never accept that the very same leader that was in place while the breaches took place, could also be leader responsible for regaining public confidence.
Most Boards tend to stand arm-in-arm with the management team and the CEO during a crisis, saying that management enjoys complete support from the Board of Directors. This approach is correct in many cases. It is the duty of the Board to be informed, to be engaged, to provide counsel to management and to monitor both the effectiveness of the crisis management team and the impact of the crisis on the corporation. It is critical that directors do not try to manage the crisis on their own, over-react or speak to the media.
Where classic crisis management theory is light, as it relates specifically to the Board’s role in more complex situations. The scenarios described below provide different perspectives on Board involvement and obligations. The first is when the crisis relates specifically to the CEO. We have seen this situation play out in recent years where the CEO is accused publically of something illegal or inappropriate. Most recently, this happened at Hewlett Packard. Where, once informed, the Board acted proactively and clearly with regard to what had happened and communicated subsequent decisions taken…”
This is an extract from National, read full article here : National.ca