Almost all businesses expect to face a crisis. And how they deal with them really counts

business

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Death and taxes. Two of life’s great certainties. But maybe it’s time to add another to the list – corporate crises. After all, according to PwC, you can’t avoid them, you can only prepare for them.

The professional services group asked more than 2,000 companies about the worst crises they’d experienced for its Global Crisis Survey 2019.

Here are five things we’ve learned from their answers.

1. Be prepared – it’s only a matter of time

Just 5% of the companies in the survey say they do not expect to experience a crisis in the future. Everyone else is aware the odds are stacked against them and that it’s only a matter of time before something goes wrong.

And firms with more than 5,000 employees are more likely to have experienced an average of one crisis per year.

69% of leaders have experienced at least one corporate crisis in the past five years.

69% of leaders have experienced at least one corporate crisis in the past five years.
Image: PwC Global Crisis Survey

2. Crises come in all shapes and sizes

There are seven categories of crisis in PwC’s findings: operational, technological, humanitarian, financial, legal, human capital, and reputational. Operational crises are those most likely to occur, it says.

More than half of firms say at least one of the crises they have experienced fits into this category, with problems including operational breakdowns, competitive disruption and supply chain issues.

And one-third cite technology as a cause of these crises. That includes systems failing, data loss and cybercrime, with the latter being more likely to hit larger businesses with 5,000 employees or more.

Image: PwC Global Crisis Survey 2019

3. It might not be the most newsworthy crisis that causes the most disruption

Headlines are often dominated by crises such as those involving ransomware, industrial espionage or state-sponsored cyberattacks.

But the reality can be more prosaic. The most common types of crisis businesses surveyed by PwC have faced are liquidity issues, technological failure, and operational disruption.

Despite this, business leaders say they are mostly concerned about cybercrime, marketplace disruption and ethical misconduct.

 

4. Who’s responsible when things go wrong?

The most effective way to respond to a crisis is with clear, decisive action. But PwC says a wide variety of people across organizations claim responsibility for what happens in the event of trouble.

Senior executives are most likely to be involved at every stage of crisis response, but there is a lack of clear, consistent ownership across the businesses surveyed. A well-defined team with transparent roles is important here.

The survey also found that almost three-quarters of businesses have called in external help to handle a corporate crisis. And just under 30% have staff dedicated to preparing for, or responding to, such a situation.

78% of companies say they were better off or no worse off following a corporate crisis.

78% of companies say they were better off or no worse off following a corporate crisis.
Image: PwC Global Crisis Survey

5. A crisis could leave your company in a better place

Emerging from a close call with disaster has left many businesses stronger than ever – just under 20% say they have been damaged by such an experience.

Meanwhile, more than 40% say that they were “in a better place” post-crisis — with some even reporting revenue growth as a direct result of their management of the situation.

Factors that have helped those who came out stronger include being able to make decisions quickly, having a well-tested crisis plan in place, and knowing who the crisis team members are.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This is how rice is hurting the planet

These countries have the most powerful passports

Paid paternity leave should be the norm in the US

Countries violate rights over climate change, argue youth activists in landmark UN complaint

Budget MEPs back €1.6 million to help 400 former workers of Carrefour Belgium

A new Europe for people, planet and prosperity for all

Ramped-up emergency preparedness, part of ‘changing the DNA’ of the UN’s health agency

Dramatic drop in South Sudan political violence since peace agreement signing

LGBTQ+: The invisible poor on our healthcare

The West and Russia took what they wanted from Ukraine

Zhua Zhou: Choosing The Future

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

We have to fight for a fairer tech industry for women

Access to health in the developping world

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Secretary-General condemns attacks on UN peacekeepers in Mali

Replacement for United States on Human Rights Council to be elected ‘as soon as possible’

After music and TV, where will the streaming revolution take us next?

UN chief ‘following very closely’ reports of chemical weapons use in Syria’s Aleppo

Built by a woman: supporting the dreams of mum entrepreneurs

I accidentally went viral on TikTok. I learned we failed our youngest generation.

South African women’s fury at gender-based attacks spills onto the streets

UN sees progress in fight against tobacco, warns more action needed to help people quit deadly product

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

An economist explains how to value the internet

This start-up is making a palm oil alternative from used coffee grounds

Joris in Indonesia

Here’s how tech is revolutionising transport for low-income communities in urban Africa

Algorithms are being used to convict criminals and decide jail time. We need to make sure they are fair

A record one million Syrians displaced over six months, during six key battles: UN investigators

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

1 in 13 young British people have PTSD. Here’s why

UN mission welcomes Afghan government’s announcement of Eid holiday ceasefire

Colombia: ‘Significant strides’ towards integrated peace, UN envoy tells Security Council

UN migration agency launches $10 million appeal to support hurricane recovery in The Bahamas

Millions of Bangladeshi children at risk from climate crisis, warns UNICEF

Merkel refuses to consider the North-South schism of Eurozone

Trump fines China with $50 billion a year plus some more…

E-commerce is globalization’s shot at equality

Restoring government control across Central African Republic is ‘key’ to lasting peace, stability – UN envoy

It’s time to ditch our obsession with trade deficits. Here’s why

From Policy to Reality: Discrepancies in Universal Health Care Systems across the EU

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

The world invested almost $2 trillion in energy last year. These 3 charts show where it went

A Sting Exclusive: “China-Africa Cooperation Sets a Fine Example of South-South Cooperation”, by China’s Ambassador to EU

Growth is running out of steam. How do we prepare for the next crisis?

“There are many converging visions and interests between the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan”, Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU highlights from Brussels

Greece leaves EU aid program, gets last 15 billion euro

Air pollution: How to end the deaths of 7 million people per year?

‘Stronger’ effort must be made to cement peace deal for South Sudanese women and girls: UN Women chief

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

“Beating pollution for our planet”, a Sting Exclusive by Mr Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment

Zimbabwe ‘facing worst hunger crisis in a decade’

First peaceful transfer of power in DR Congo ‘an extraordinary opportunity’ for advancing rights

Trade negotiations with US can start under certain conditions

The Impact of climates changes in health: a problem for all of us

As conflicts become more complex, ‘mediation is no longer an option; it is a necessity’, UN chief tells Security Council

MARKUP initiative to boost market access to Europe for East African SMEs

5 reasons to be more cheerful about the future of the oceans

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s