Every once in a while a company’s regular operations are interrupted by a major issue that threatens the entire organization. When this happens, it is imperative that the people in charge take on the problem as effectively as possible. One wrong decision can at best deal a minor blow to the reputation of the business and at worst take the entire company down. The pressure on these people can be immense. If you’re one such person, you know how difficult it can be.
But as it turns out, there is a simple strategy that you can employ in the process of solving a business problem.
Step One: Get all your facts straight
There’s nothing worse than trying to solve a problem when you either don’t have all the information you need or are working with unconfirmed data. It’s not just a matter of figuring out how the issue came about; it also involves confirming whether or not you can resolve the situation within a given amount of time. Trying to jump in and fix things before you have all the facts may seem like the quickest and most effective way of getting things done, but it can also be the quickest way to make the circumstances worse than they need to be.
Having access to and verifying all the elements of the matter at hand will give you a better idea of what needs to be done. Once you have these things, you can think of solutions and move on to step two.
Step Two: Think your solutions through
It’s one thing to have one or two solutions that you think can resolve the entire situation, but knowing that the solutions in question will really work out to everyone’s advantage is a completely different matter. Before you implement the solution, try to weigh the pros and cons (there will be cons, mark our words) of your chosen solution, and try to have backup protocols for them as well. It wouldn’t do to just jump into resolving the situation without making sure that all the elements of the situation will work out for you. For example, it’s easy to say that you only need to replace parts; that is, unless you don’t have those parts.
Make sure that you have all the bases of your solution covered before implementing it. Then you can get to solve the problem and get to step three.
Step Three: Make plans for the next time it happens
Once you’ve solved the problem, use it as a template for creating protocols for handling similar issues in the future. Assuming that this is the first time you’ve faced this sort of problem, it’s always good to use it as an opportunity to improve the way you and your company approach situations of this nature. Take the time to talk about what you did right, and what things could be improved in your crisis management system.
It always helps to learn from your mistakes, so your organization can become stronger.
Bonus Recommendations: Never blame throw and talk to your customers
Trying to put the blame on people in the middle of the crisis never helps, especially when you’re trying to find a solution. You may address accountability after the situation, and even then it’s no good to place all the blame on one person or group. At the same time, keep your customers in the loop – email them, call them, even send a fax online to keep them abreast of the problem’s status. That way, they’ll be more forgiving of delays.
You can’t avoid these matters, but you can make sure that they don’t destroy your organization.