User driven planning methodology for crisis management

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Any consultant or practitioner who has been in the crisis management game for some time will know that exercising is a vital part of organisational preparedness for a crisis. Similarly, conducting post-incident reviews is an essential part of learning and improving an organisation’s capability. However, organisations have shown a remarkable inability to learn from experience when it comes to crisis management. There is a significant body of research and experience that points to this limited ability. This issue is so prominent now that post-crisis and post-exercise reviews discuss lessons identified, rather than lessons learned.

In this article, I explore the idea that the failure of organisations to learn from experience arises from the planning methodology employed rather than from an inherent inability to learn from experience. With this idea in mind, an alternative approach to crisis management planning, driven by the user experience, is proposed.

A Failure to Learn

A significant body of research and practise has evolved about how to create learning organisations that learn from their experience managing crises. The underlying assumption with this approach is the problem lies in the organisation’s ability to learn. Whilst this may be true, it may not reflect the whole story. What if part of this repetition of error lies in the crisis management practises asked of an organisation? What if asking organisations to learn these lessons is akin to asking a left handed person to write right-handed? Whilst it may be possible, it does not come naturally or easily and requires an extensive investment of time and training to master…Click HERE to read full article.

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