The Styles of Crisis Management

Mountain out of a Molehill Crisis Management – There’s a problem. Maybe, it’s not really a problem. Maybe, something arrived five minutes late one time. This crisis manager is on the phone and mass emailing everybody at the first sign of imperfection.

It’s Your Fault I Screwed Up Crisis Management – This time, there really *is* a problem. However, the true cause of the problem escapes this crisis manager. Every team that interacts with this crisis manager is emailed, called, or blamed for causing the problem. Sometime later, this crisis manager’s crazed emails stop with a minimal admission of actual guilt.

Screaming the Loudest Crisis Management – The above two crisis manager types generally resort to this method. Emails and phone calls escalate up organizational charts until the crisis manager is hit with the threat of termination or felony harassment charges, whichever comes first.

Legit Crisis Manager – Stays cool, analyzes the problem objectively, makes key decisions and…  *yawn*.  Let’s move on…

Problem Creators – Like a workplace case of Münchausen by Proxy syndrome, this crisis manager creates problems that, while in theory should question competence, really call into question whether the person is creating the problem for attention or to “showcase their problem solving skills.”

Ignore Problems Until They Become Crises – The procrastinating crisis manager. Doesn’t really care about a problem unless it is a crisis. This is possibly due to an inability to solve even the most basis of problems without an intense adrenaline rush.

Too Understaffed To Address Any Issues That Are Not Crises – The source of the common complaint, “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” Examining the underlying issues that aren’t crises or staffing appropriately would involve risk, and therefore, nothing beyond crises actually gets worked on.