By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Reacting or proacting to a world in turmoil
I am not scaring you, I am making you focus since all these things have happened and are still happening. The whole world is reeling from different forms of natural and man-made crises, such as, but not limited to:
• Global economic meltdown?
• Earthquake measuring 8+ on the Richter scale
• Collapse of structurally-deficient buildings?
• Defective or contaminated products
• Bacteria, germs or virus from farm products and produce, e.g. SARS
• Stampede by over-excited crowds
• Massive leak from insensible processes, e.g. Chernobyl nuclear plant
• Damages to food sources
• Domestic and international terrorism
• Street crimes
• Sinking domestic passenger ships and ferries
• Shootings or bombings in crowded places
• Corruption and fraud in government and business
• Theft of credit card data
• Vehicle crash in busy streets
• Road rage
• Injury or death to employees due to engineering/systems defects
• Powerful typhoons, twisters
• Gangs clash
• Fire, flood and tsunami
• Management complicity in business scandals
• Massive heat or cold wave
• Sudden death of leading business or government leaders
• Cancer, AIDS, and other dreaded diseases
• Miners trapped
• Mental and nervous breakdowns
• Counterfeit products
• Currency devaluation
• Extended loss of electricity or water
• Workplace violence
• Employee sabotage
• And many others.
Some or all of these have seriously affected our social, family, political, business and spiritual life.
In his book Crisis Leadership Now (McGraw-Hill, 2008), author Laurence Barton advises to keep in mind that most crises are defined by four basic questions. "These are the ones that haunt business leaders after a crisis has rocked their organizations: What did you know? When did you know it? What did you do about it? What are you going to do to ensure that it never happens again?" Barton lists, at least, 50 actual crises that have impacted whole communities of employees, shareholders, neighbors, and the media.
What about you? How do you manage crisis? How do you recognize and interpret the various signals that appear on your radar screen? What did you learn? Firstly, do you have a crisis management plan? A radar screen?
Barton includes a 40-page crisis management plan and suggests ten action steps: Make your enterprise an unattractive target. Revise employee screening processes. Validate business, community and government contacts. Assess business continuity plan. Train and educate your workforce. Equip your workforce. Review leases and contracts for risk exposure. Assess value-chain exposure to supply disruptions, Review insurance policies and conduct cost/benefit analysis. Communicate commitment.
To my happy surprise, Davao seems to be a very safe place to live and do business in. Crime rate is very low, construction is in full swing, the city seem to be active 24/7, there are new and modern facilities and infrastructure to support business, health and wellness, education, social and spiritual life. One negative is that there are not enough (or are there groups hiding them) baggage carts at the airport, but they suddenly appear when you hire a porter. Immediately you form a bad impression as you enter the city. Fortunately I spent enough time in Davao to appreciate the place and its people better. Thanks to my hosts, Ruth and Jojo Agullo and their children Sofia and Enrique.