Corporate Smokejumper

Corporate Smokejumper

The front lines of corporate crisis management are hot and sweaty.  The lessons learned are hard won, and the experiences are not for the faint of heart.  This book will give you the inside perspective of a veteran practitioner who, throughout his career, developed creative ways for addressing the gut-wrenching challenges that come with leading the response to high-stakes crises.

Gil Meyer knows how to manage crises that have no good solutions.  In his roles at DuPont and elsewhere, time and again he took on the challenges of leading the response to a wide range of crises:  massive natural disasters, tragic industrial accidents, pandemic and infectious disease threats, expensive product quality problems, and much more.  In the pages of this book, he offers you the tools he created to help manage crises as well as tips on how to use them.

In Corporate Smokejumper, with wit and wisdom, Meyer weaves tales from inside steamy crisis rooms where the no-win decisions are made.
Gil Meyer (978-0-9913288-1-9) Paperback, 190 pages, 2017



1  Already a Crisis?

2  Crisis Management is a Journey
Congratulations on Making It This Far
What is a Smokejumper?
Managing Crises in a Complex Corporate Environment
You Will Likely Survive

3  How Do I Know If a ProbIem Is Really a Crisis?
Formal Definition of a “Crisis”
Your Company’s Definition of a Crisis
A Shorthand Definition
An “Issue” or a “Crisis”?
The Connection of Stewardship to Issues Management and Crisis Management
Stewardship Pays Once
Stewardship Pays Twice
A Clear Window and an Open Door

The Fire Alarm
How Much Warning?
Ignoring the Fire Alarm

5  Anatomy of a Crisis
How a Crisis Emerges
Jumping through a Narrow Window
Three Groupings: On-site, Off-site, Business/Corporate
Persistent Crises
Letting Go When It’s Over

6  Context of the Crisis
Core Values
Public Expectations for Transparency
Public Expectations for Instant Access

7  Crisis Planning
Crisis Plan
Vulnerability Assessment
Response Guides
Crisis Team
Annual Planning

8  Crisis Preparedness

9  Facilities and Systems
Alert System
War Room
Computer Systems

10 When a Crisis Strikes
The “Oh #%&*!” meeting
Your First Audience—Consider the Needs of Those in the Room
Records Management
Situation Assessment—Box your Thoughts
Half of What You Know is Wrong

11 Structuring for Efficiency and Effectiveness
Situation Leader and Senior Sponsors
Process Leader
Core Team
Critical People Resources
Managing Internal Expectations
Buffering Senior Leaders
The Hourglass Function

12 Setting the Pace for Effective Management
Structured Meetings for Effective Management
Setup for Successful Team Meetings
Agenda for the Initial Meeting
Agenda for Ongoing Team Meetings
Use of Humor
Use of “War Stories”
Avoiding the Martyr Syndrome

13 Getting the Word Out
Choosing a Company Spokesperson
Your First Statement Out
Connecting Your Statement to Your Core Values
Core Statement
High, Medium or Low Speak
Ask:  What is our Narrative?
Electronic Team Room
Making Nothing Happen
Getting onto the Forgotten Track
Legal vs Ethical Quadrants
Expectation Management

14 Making Tough Decisions
It’s All About Decision-making
Objectives—What Exactly are We Trying to Do Here?
Decision-making Tool
Pause & Reflect Tool
Stakeholder Assessment Quadrants

15 Managing a Crisis in Social Media
Three Phases: Monitoring, Analyzing, Engaging
The Whipsaw Effect: Traditional Media and Social Media
Digital Witnesses are Everywhere
Challenges of Language and Culture
Decision Trees
Measuring Your Impact

16 Aftermath
What Does a Win Look Like?
People Want to Do Business with a Company that Knows How to Manage a Crisis
Rewarding Behavior—Risks and Rewards of Giving Awards for Crisis Response

17 Learning
Debrief Processes
Electronic Surveys
Recounting Lessons Learned
Connection to Stewardship

18 Conclusions
Prevention is the Best Investment
Listen for Early Warning Signals
Don’t Over-reach on Rhetoric
Crisis Prevention and Preparedness





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