A board’s role in a crisis

A board's role in a crisis

When a crisis event emerges, knowing what is expected of you and others is critical for an effective response. For many organisations, the role of the board in a response and recovery is not clear. These blurred lines can introduce uncertainty, slow the response, deepen the crisis and make everyone’s job harder.

The recent research conducted by Resilient Organisations’ Richard Ball and Erica Seville on the board’s role in a crisis sheds light on this grey area. It is a guide for boards members and managers alike. It draws on the combined wisdom of 12 board chairs, directors and chief executives, all of whom have led their organisations through numerous crises. These include earthquakes, reputational crises, market collapse, terrorism, critical infrastructure failure, worker fatalities, and of course, COVID-19. The 12 interviewees have been involved in many sectors, both public and private, across New Zealand and Australia.

The current COIVD-19 crisis has shown us that the unexpected does happen. There is no room for complacency. Being prepared and thinking about how to respond to the next crisis is time well spent if you want your organisation to survive, or even thrive in future events. Ensuring there is clarity at the top of the organisation is a great place to start.

The research was funded by QuakeCoRE and supported by the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

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