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Summarizing the Benefits of a Categorical List

Summarizing the Benefits of a Categorical List
You’ve just completed your review of four categorical list of crises that should serve as a useful launch of our exploration into the many ways a crisis leader might craft a crisis type system of organization. What struck you about these lists as you reviewed them? Did you find any particular objective or perspective to be particularly useful? If you’re like most people, you found the first list to be the most accessible. The first list, if you recall, was Professor Gerald Meyers’ Nine Types of Business Crisis. As the title of the list suggests, all the items on it would resonate with senior business leaders.
Well, the other lists may have inspired you to think of crisis types that weren’t on Professor Meyers’ lists, most of the items you saw here could serve as a solid foundation for your list. Depending on the maturity your business, and the sector where you operate, some number of these crises are solid candidates to start your own typology. That said, if you’re not a senior leader of your company, it’s possible that several of these items may not seem is useful to you in your current role, which raises another point about these lists. When it comes to crisis readiness, this course is going to primarily focus on risks of the strategic variety.
This is illustrated clearly by the items on Professor Meyers’ list. Market shift, cash shortage, international events, maybe these are items that don’t fall within your immediate scope of work. At some point in your career, however, they will. Until then, perhaps these items can serve as a representative distribution of crisis types that you might create at a level appropriate for your responsibilities. Okay, so your team is not responsible for an enterprise cash shortage, but maybe your team will find itself on a path to far exceed your annual budget. While that might not qualify as an organizational crisis, it might feel to your team like the end of days.
In any case, the first list of types should help you get pointed in the right direction to craft a typology of your own. The second list created by the research team at PwC, offers a slightly different look at crisis types. Similar to the first list, the listed categories represent large, strategic challenges. In fact, there’s a good bit of overlap between the two lists. There are also a couple of new items. Perhaps this slightly different perspective, gave you an idea or two for your list, that the first set did not. The third list was crafted entirely from the perspective of a public relations professional.
While experts make the argument that almost all crises have some element of public relations impact to them, the items on list three were all intended to guide stakeholder communication efforts. Were there any items on this list that fit nicely onto your own? The fourth list that you scanned was created to illustrate a set of potential political risks that a company may encounter. Once again, it’s possible that most of the items on this list are concerns for more senior leaders in your organization. That’s okay. Someday, you’ll be in a position to worry about these things. What’s particularly useful about this list, is how it differs from the others.
The book from which this list was borrowed, by the way, is a fascinating and informative read, especially if your company conducts a significant amount of international business. Ultimately, my objective in sharing these lists with you was to get you thinking about different types of crises that your team, your unit, or your organization may encounter in the future. Spending some time identifying crises that may become issues for you is a first step in the development of a crisis response plan. You’ll find that building your plans with specific crisis types in mind will help them become more tangible, more realistic, and better suited to thoughtful planning.
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High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis

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