I’ve often noted that the biggest obstacle to effective crisis management is denial: company managers refuse to believe there is a risk that needs attention.
‘We don’t need a crisis plan. We can handle it.’ Or, ‘That will never happen to this company.’
Another obstacle can be even tougher, though: what to do when management refuses to acknowledge or fix a problem. This happens when a company makes a mistake but refuses to admit it or apologize.
CEO Chip Wilson did this in response to complaints about Lululemon yoga pants. He implied customers were at fault. It took two fatal 737 Max crashes and a lot of pressure before Boeing acknowledged something was amiss. The CEO lost his job, Boeing lost billions and enterprise value may never recover.
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