Spoiler alert: it all begins with a simple issue.
Believe it or not, avoiding a viral scandal or becoming the punch-line in late-night entertainment shows is manageable. The key lies in anticipating and solving issues through several simple — but not easy — steps.
- Make issue-solving core to your company culture. Practice and celebrate an issue-solving mentality. Fire drills will happen less and less and you’ll keep happy, productive employees longer.
- Address issues when they are big enough to see, but still small enough to solve. We’re all pretty familiar with those recurring, nagging issues. While they haven’t caused too much heartache, you’d never want to see them in the newspaper, or spreading like wildfire online. So dig in and solve it.
- Solve the root issue, not just a consequence. Ask why 5 times. Engage the team by going once around the table. Rule of thumb – if a similar issue happens again, you didn’t get to the root cause.
- Identify next steps and document. Once you’ve solved an issue, document the solution. This becomes your process. Make sure people know and follow it.
- Learn from missteps. Getting better means learning. Many times, the best education comes from mistakes. We’ve all felt the sting of an error, and it should trigger a revisit of #3 – solving the root issue. Rinse and repeat until satisfied.
So now you know the steps…but do you know the 80/20 Rule of Crisis Management?