Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stress Tests for Your Business/Organization

If a "stress test" is good enough for big U.S. banks, why not a stress test for your business or organization?

Three years ago U.S. regulators forced big financial companies to be evaluated with a so-called stress test, which was designed to evaluate if they might fail or come close IF the stock market dropped 50%, or home prices sank another 21% or the unemployment rate hit 13%.

I am not suggesting your business or not-for-profit be measured against those standards, but I am suggesting the leaders of most organizations make a list of the kinds of things that have gone wrong among their peers and competitors and then ask themselves, "if that happened to us could we survive?"

If any of those things happened to us, are we prepared?  Do we know what to do (and not do) to get through and return to a "new" normal?

Some experts call what I'm talking about a risk assessment.  We at the Institute for Crisis Management call it a vulnerability study.  Stress test, risk assessment, vulnerability assessment -- they are all basically the same thing.  What can go wrong?  What would we do if it did?  How would we react?

What would our customers/clients/patients, suppliers, financial sources, employees and their families think, do, say, react?

No organization or business is immune from a crisis or disruption of operations or services. 

If you have not anticipated all those things that can go wrong and practiced with a plan to manage all of those possibilities, you may be gambling about your future, and if you face the facts, gamblers lose more often than they win.  Remember, the game is designed for the "house" to win more often than the folks like you and me.

Here at the Institute for Crisis Management, one of the services we offer is a custom Vulnerability Study to look internally at what could go wrong as well as a review of our Negative News Crisis Data Base, usually for the past ten years, to see what kinds of organizations like yours have faced crises and how well they responded publicly, if at all.

Call for details and the cost.

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