Why Smart Managers Are Embedding The Holy Grail of Reputation Resilience Into Their Organisation

Have you ever wondered why the world’s 435 nuclear reactors experience a failure less than once in a generation?

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Or why aircraft seldom fall out of the sky, despite 38 million flights per year?

And why air travel is 22 times safer than travelling by car?

The energy and aerospace industries have spent a generation developing management systems to reduce risk by introducing business-wide processes that identify risks and use all means available to reduce or eliminate them.

These processes become so embedded in the operations and culture of an organisation that entire industries become almost immune to the kind of failure which can seriously damage their reputations.

So why do so many Chief Executives live in mortal fear of the reputation crisis that will sweep them away, along with shareholder value, customer loyalty, and personal repute?

Most often when a reputation crisis occurs, enormous energy is expended as management works out what to do ‘on the hoof’, and carries out a ‘mopping up exercise’.  Reputation rebuild is challenging and time consuming.  And the damage, once inflicted, can be incredibly difficult to move on from.

A recent survey conducted by Hemington Consulting and Gablesmead revealed that only 1 in 5 CEOs are comfortable with the reputation resilience of their organisation.  Most have ‘crisis communication plans’ that serve an important but limited purpose.  Communication will usually be part of the response to a real crisis, but mopping up the blood on the carpet is by far the least desirable option.

At Hemington we believe a much smarter approach is for organisations to apply a systematic approach to preventing reputational damage.  The tools for preventing quality failures have been used successfully in industries where product failure could wipe out a company.   We advocate establishing robust processes for identifying and managing risk, within a ‘management system’ tailored for that organisation.

For more on Reputation Resilience management systems contact Justin Doherty at Hemington Consulting.

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