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PwC’s Crisis Categories

Learn more about PwC’s crisis categories.

Here you will find a second list of crises, which won’t be presented in as much detail as the first set. This particular list was developed not long ago by PwC, as part of their annual CEO pulse check, where they interviewed hundreds of CEOs from organizations around the world, to get a sense of their interests, pursuits and concerns for the year ahead. Recently, PwC summarized the responses to their questions about crisis triggers – or, as you will see, different types of crises that respondents had actually faced in the “recent past”.

Note: Don’t be surprised to see some overlap with the previous list of crisis types. There is some overlap here with the prior list. You will notice, however, that there are some new and different items. Pay particular attention to these.PwC’s typology list includes these seven categories:

1) Financial. In fact, over 80% of the CEO’s indicated that they had “recently” experienced a financial crisis. Subcategories within this type are bankruptcies, insolvencies, and significant asset devaluations.

2) Legal. What these CEOs typically described as crises driven by compliance failures or sanctions.

3) Technological. The crises brought about by cyber breaches or R&D failures.

4) Operational. These were described as infrastructure or product failures. 50% of the CEOs indicated that they had suffered an operational crisis in the last year.

5) Humanitarian. Described as terrorism or natural disaster crises.

6) Reputational. These tended to be described as losses in market position or an adverse association with the company brand.

7) Human Capital. These crises were categorized as periods of high staff turnover, low retention, or a labor strike.

As with Professor Meyers’ list of categorical crisis types, you should return to the top of this new list and read through it again. Again, as you consider each of the seven categories, you should make note of those you believe could create a significant threat for your organization. If a number of these crisis types seem plausible at your company, make note of them in your notes or workbook.

Once again, feel free to spend a few extra minutes thinking though which of your stakeholder groups would be most significantly impacted by each of the crisis types you select from this list. If you complete this optional exercise, record your thoughts in your notes or workbook.

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High Stakes Leadership: Leading in Times of Crisis

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