Crises are inevitable. At some point, something will happen outside or within any organization that will spark a crisis. How that crisis is handled shapes the reputation of the organization and the careers of every leader of that organization. Handled well, reputations are enhanced; handled poorly, careers are ruined and organizations falter. Indeed, one the major responsibilities of organizational leaders is effectively handling crises.
In this class, we focus on the issues leaders of organization must consider before, during, and after a crisis. We begin the class by defining crises, noting the sorts of crises organizations face, and the value, intrinsically and extrinsically, of good crisis management. We highlight the importance of preventing, anticipating, and planning for, crises. Then, using a stage model of crises we explore what leaders need must do to recognize crises early, handle them well, and recover from them promptly. We emphasize how what leaders say and do matters immensely during crises. Finally, we discuss the role of the media in crises and how leaders and organizations need to both understand and effectively manage the media throughout a crisis.
The goal of the course is give participants a deep understanding of crisis management and provide a variety of practical tools and skills participants can use when faced with crises. Instructionally, the class includes readings, exercises, lectures, case studies, as well as invited speakers who have successfully handled crises in the past.