All members of the Kamba community must be part of a final-respect-welfare group which supports the deceased family financially, emotionally, and physically. Those who do not join, are considered proud and antisocial and they are always taught invaluable lessons when they lose a member of their family. People from other cultures find it ridiculous that people make monthly contributions in preparation for their death. It is understandable and excusable. The middle class pay premiums to insurance companies to cushion them in the event the worst strikes them. I think the insurance companies borrowed the concept from the Kamba community 🙂
But do organizations prepare for risks and crises apart from hiring crisis and communication personnel and creating generic Crisis Communication Plans? One may never understand the need for a Crisis Management Plan until they are in a crisis either at a personal level or at an organizational level.
An organization should take risk and crisis management serious by taking five simple steps (Tyler, 1993).
- Identifying Prodromes
These are visible symptoms of an impending crisis. These could be signs such as when an organization in the same field as yours suffers a crisis or complains from employees.
2. Prevention and Preparation
An organization should seek to prevent a crisis based on the prodromes or prepare for a crisis that may not be preventable. The corporate department should help in preparing Crisis Management and communication plans which are tools outlining the steps to undertake in case of a crisis.
At this stage, the crisis has already happened. Containment aims to shorten the period the crisis runs as well as prevent its spread to other areas of the organization. This is critical because it has a bearing on the organization’s reputation. Some organizations have turned crises into positive PR but it requires expertise.
This stage involves the effort to return the organization to business as usual by restoring public confidence in the organization.
Unfortunately, when organizations get out of a crisis, they are usually relieved of the pressure but usually fail to learn from the experience. As soon as an organization is out of danger, it should study the crisis to determine what was lost, and gained and propose steps to prevent a future occurrence. Failure to undertake this responsibility is a recipe for a similar crisis.
Sometimes, it may take as little as learning from the primitive cultural practices, insurance companies and if need be, engaging an expert in the field. If you are looking for experts, we are a click away.
Tyler, L. (1993). Book Reviews: Barton, Laurence. (1993). Crisis in Organizations: Managing and Communicating in the Heat of Chaos. South-Western Publishing Co. ISBN 0-538- 81818. 256 pages. The Bulletin of the Association for Business Communication, 56(2), 47–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/108056999305600216