Tony Jaques has made an invaluable contribution to the literature on crisis management—all the more treasurable because, like many “hot” professional areas, crisis management has lately been engendering much tired, rather obvious commentary. Mr. Jaques’ Crisis Proofing is a horse of quite a different color: this book is fresh, engaging, with shrewd insights on what works and what doesn’t. Importantly, his perspective is truly global. An accomplished practitioner in his own right, Jaques never loses sight of the bigger picture, or of the cultural nuances that often undo the best-laid crisis plans. At the same time, he has a masterful grip on the bedeviling little details, along with a practical sense that best practices must never be bromides. They must be tailored to unique circumstances and unique audiences.
To cite just a few of the must-read chapters “How to Know a Crisis is Coming” tells you just that. “What to Do After a Crisis Seems to be Over” is for those who either celebrate success too early or seek to transform a crisis into long-term opportunities. And, “Social Media: Do It Fast and Do It Right” provides fresh cues for managing what may be our profession’s biggest, current challenge.
Finally, as crisis managers, we often enter the scene too late, when perceptions are already hardened and the reputational damage irreparable. Here is where Crisis Proofing makes an additionally important contribution. Jaques doesn’t merely preach the need for proactive steps to safeguard the brand. He codifies and systematizes those steps, providing specific practical guidance for those who are provident enough to use their peacetime wisely, fortifying the organizational barricades before the inevitable war cries go viral. As such, Crisis Proofing is a needed resource for C-Suites as well as the crisis professionals who advise them.
Oh, and lest we forget, Crisis Proofing, while based on sound management science, is a pleasure to read. It has the substance of a textbook and the appeal of a good novel.
Crisis Proofing is publishing October 19 by Oxford University Press/Australia and New Zealand.