Time for Crisis Recovery

I’ve written in the past about how we gauge crises with our 3 x 3 matrix.  As a company, we focus on the long, slow occurring crises (the frogs) and the unforeseen, come-out-of-the-blue crises (the godzillas) as these are the crises that most people don’t, won’t or can’t plan […]

Is it a crisis?

One of my favorite episodes of the original Star Trek is The Trouble with Tribbles.  There are Klingons, grain to be guarded and government bureaucrats which get all the attention but in the end it is tribbles which created the crisis.  It’s a great example of the frogs type […]

The Quality of the Hit – The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre 1929

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” -Sir Arthur Conan DoyleToday is the 85th anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.  Generally assumed to be directed by Al Capone, no one was ever convicted of the crime of killing 7 people in broad daylight with witnesses present. […]

Honest Press Releases: How AOL’s Tim Armstrong Looked Like a Hypocrite and Alienated Employees

Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO
image via wikimedia commons

Once upon a time, Tim Armstrong was President of Google’s Americas operations. He was an idea generator in a complex machine with endless resources and competent executives who balanced each other out. He had a reputation for rallying the troops with coach-style pep […]

How to Panic, Pass the Buck, and Alienate Customers: McDonald’s Style

After another embarrassing front page gaffe, McDonald’s has taken down its McResource Line employee site. And issued one of the worst statements possible by way of explanation.
“We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald’s employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts. […]

Tackling the Symptom, Not the Problem

Meredith and I spend a lot of time talking about frogs and Godzillas – our way of characterizing the formation of crises – the slow, methodical building crises vs. the sudden onslaught crisis.  If fact, we deal with very few Godzillas in our work or even in life.  […]

5 Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Let Others Help

I once had a client I’ll call Joe – whose business consisted of scanning a lot of documents and compiling them on DVDs. Joe, being a small business owner, used his own scanner – a single-page-at-a-time scanner – which required eight or more hours per job. I […]

Angry Customers: The Birth and Death of a Terrorist

It happened right in front of us – Meredith and I were talking with a client when a customer came into the client’s shop to return a large but barely-eaten custom cake. She was obviously nervous and upset. “It tasted like chemicals,” she said, apologetically.  Even the one year […]

Why Do People Lie So Much? (Podcast)

We’ve talked a lot about why people lie – and oh do they lie – in a crisis. In this episode we discuss hoe lies are rarely malicious – they’re motivated by fear. Frank and I have never dealt with a crisis that didn’t involve some form of dishonest. […]

Oreos and Jedi: How to Look Smart When Someone Challenges Your Data

So, Nabisco just got publicly shamed by a bunch of high schoolers. Dan Anderson, a consumer math teacher in upstate New York, was trying to help his students get a better grasp of the subject with a hands-on experiment: determining whether or not Double Stuf Oreos really contain double […]

Slow and Silent and Secondary: The Most Dangerous Crisis of All

photo credit here

Over the weekend, I talked about how mismanaging communication during an initial crisis can trigger an immediate second crisis – the kind that causes angry, confused customers to hit you with a landslide of complaints in a short time period.  These are called secondary crises – ones […]