At the time of a crisis, human beings that have not had any previous crisis management experience or training, tend to do exactly the opposite of what should be done. This is somehow natural, as crisis comes with enormous stress, creates anxiety and paralysis. These moods are big enemies of the dynamic and thoughtful actions and answers that a crisis requires. Successful crisis management must therefore be prepared well before the crisis strikes.
This will be the subject of my contribution at the Chosun Issue Forum next Monday, September 21, in Seoul, Korea (see above picture). Presenting very different crisis types, from a cruise-ship grounding, to a European-wide pandemic, from an airplane crash to a nuclear evacuation crisis, from a low probability but high impact event such as the Lisbon Earthquake to a mortal avalanche and a reputation crisis, I will analyse the state of resilience of the targets at risk, the interest and handicaps of a top down and the benefits and inconveniences of a bottom up approach, emergency response scenarios and strategies that have failed and those that have worked.
Whereas the very notion of a crisis and a catastrophe contains characteristics of unpredictability and novelty, I will present a mind-set and risk awareness approach with methods, guidelines and checklists which will enable every conference attendee to play a responsible role as a family father, as an employer or employee of an enterprise, as a member of the government or the administration, within his community and as a citizen of Korea. My first advice is to start right now, in “time of peace”, to get prepared for a world that has not only become more risky but has also become the subject of novel risks for which traditional training is not any longer the right answer.
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With best regards,
Herbert M. Koch
September 16, 2015