The Changing Face of Strategic Crisis Management

image of The Changing Face of Strategic Crisis Management

Strategically managing crises is an essential responsibility of governments. Often critical decisions need to be made swiftly under difficult and complex conditions, as crises’ impacts may spread beyond national borders and can trigger significant economic, social and environmental knock-on effects. Governments have a significant role to play in strengthening the resilience of their populations, communities and critical infrastructure networks. This report highlights the changing landscape of crises that governments are confronted with today. It discusses new approaches to deal with both traditional and new kinds of crises, and invites reflection on how best governments can adapt to change. Topics covered include capacity for early warning and “sense-making”, crisis communication and the role of social media, as well as strategic crisis management exercises. Finally, the review proposes practical policy guidance for strategic crisis management.



Understanding and identifying strategic crises through early-warning and sense-making

Though important advances have occurred in recent years, governments are regularly surprised by the emergence of crises and still struggle to identify and understand them. This chapter examines the challenges of early warning and sense-making associated with strategic crises. It explores the multiple contexts - group, organisational, and political - in which leaders and their advisers are embedded. These contexts enable and constrain leaders and their advisors. The role of current and emerging information and communications technology (ICT) is discussed in relation to finding ways to harness technology to increase sense-making capacity and identify potential vulnerabilities and risks. In addition, problems of effectively managing expertise, information, and knowledge with regards to early warning and crisis management are examined. The chapter concludes by presenting a set of critical topics that require further capability development and policy reform efforts.


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