Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No One Is Exempt From Crises

The Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors has fired long-time President John Junker.

At the Institute for Crisis Management we're always looking for "lessons learned" in cases like this, and it appears the Board's decision to "take decisive action" is the most significant of two lessons here.

The Board initiated an investigation that found Junker had likely violated state and federal campaign finance laws, involving a scheme to reimburse employees for political campaign contributions, then he took part in "an apparent conspiracy" to cover it up.

The ultimate investigation found "excessive compensation, non-business and inappropriate expdenitures and inappropriate gifts." You can read the 276-page investigative finding at www.fiestabowl.org.

There is another lesson here too.

Although the Board has acted decisively, there are "aftershocks" that may cause even more harm. The Fiesta Bowl grew from a regional event to a major BCS Bowl. Now BCS Commissioner Bill Hancock says the Fiesta Bowl could lose its coveted top bowl rotation.

Hancock has said there could be other sanctions.

Almost all business and organizational crises have, what we call "crisis aftershocks." And just like the aftershocks following an earthquake, some of those cause more harm than the initial event/quake, and other times they just distract management from the original problem.

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