The terms 'crisis' and 'Crisis Management' are defined in a variety of ways. For example, Wikipedia describes  a crisis as "any event that is, or is expected to lead to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society".

It also identifies three elements common to a crisis:

  • the element of surprise,
  • a threat to the organization, and
  • a short decision time.

When we say 'crisis', we usually mean something that emerges from out of nowhere and destroys our sense of peace, poses a threat, and challenges our understanding of what is normal and well-controlled. The uncertainty of the situation is often aggravated by the crisis' significant impact and by the rapid escalation of events, both demanding a very fast response. This task is manageable only when people involved in decision-making are well prepared and trained to face calamities. Instead, a very common reaction is characterized by panic and confusion. Some otherwise rational people suddenly freeze, or throw up their hands and run around in circles feeling helpless.

One might say that the term 'Crisis Management' sounds contradictory. So, is it possible to manage a crisis?

The answer is yes. Though crises are inevitable, organizations can plan how to respond to them - at least in the sense that certain management procedures can be agreed upon in advance and implemented once a crisis strikes. Crisis management is a process which involves the coordinated efforts of individuals and teams before, during, and after a disruptive incident, and these efforts are aimed to resolve the crisis, minimize loss, and otherwise protect the organization.

It is important to understand that Crisis Management is an integral part of every Manager's responsibility. Any company, business unit, district, or group may find itself in a crisis management role.

CoDimensions offers a solution called Immersive Crisis Exercise (ICE) that can help organizations develop competencies and capabilities at the executive level for managing crises. It is an excellent way to prepare your top management to face disasters with confidence, being equipped with proven methods and practical skills. It can jump-start a Crisis Management program in those organizations who don't have it, or help companies with established crisis management structures and programs exercise their staff and gain assurance in their preparedness and resiliency. For more information see details on ICE product.