Starting-up a start-up from the eyes of starter-uppers.
Something’s happened and you need to put your incident response plan into action.
Assuming you’ve done all the advanced planning, now it’s time to get to work.
Put your plan into action with five recommended steps of deploy, detach, decide, discover and debrief.
Deploy the plan you’ve crafted, rehearsed and communicated for this situation.
If needed, involve other stakeholders as early as possible.
The plan should be reviewed and agreed upon by all parties involved.
Then, confirm all the steps are in place to achieve the best outcome.
Detach from the emotion of what is happening and shift your mindset away from feeling upset, indignant or sad at the situation.
Don’t take personal attacks personally and attack the threat as a professional. Resist the urge to react with emotion and above all: don’t panic.
No one will ever turn around after panicking and say, “Whew. I’m glad we panicked because it worked out so well.”
Deploy the plan, but do not let it unfold without checking in.
You, your team and key stakeholders must decide if anything needs to be adjusted or tweaked in the plan.
Keep doing whatever is working and determine if additional resources are needed.
Did any new information come from the incident that wasn’t anticipated? Roll with it but take notes.
Expanding and fine tuning your response plan is the goal from any incident.
By recording what happened, how clients reacted, what was said, and how the incident was handled, it is easier to make a more comprehensive plan to manage incidents in the future.
A plan would also let a leadership team prepare for any financial, strategic or operational risks, while aiming for least amount of loss or curtailment in any section.
After the incident, run a post-mortem—or what the military calls an After Action Report (AAR).
This report documents the who, what, when, where, why and how.
Ask all parties that were involved in damage control what happened, what was involved, who was involved, and what lessons were learned.
It’s best to complete this plan as soon as possible, but try to finish it no more than two months after the incident.
Activating your plan takes patience and practice.
Schedule time for practice runs to streamline efficient approaches to sharing internal communications and plan deployment.
Practice until it becomes a quick and effective process.
One way to simplify this process is to use what everyone uses at most times during their day: their smartphones.
Set up a group text to alert the team that an incident has occurred.
Or, use it as a way to steer the team towards their email, where the plan will be laid out in full.
Time is critical, but proper implementation is most important.
Give your team an hour to digest the plan and understand their roles and responsibilities.
Arrange for a virtual meeting and bring everyone into the war room. Record the session because it will help shape the plan for this current incident and for the future.
Collaborate as a team and navigate the situation with a clear process including expectations for next steps.
Determine the best system for you to clearly assess what’s happening, respond without emotional reaction, and minimize damage to the reputation of your company.
Interested in more ways to manage your reputational risk?
Grab your handy playbook for getting ahead of unforeseen reputational risk factors and avoiding public fallout from a negative incident.
Manage your brand optics, and stay in control by thinking ahead and having a plan.
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