Blindsided: A Manager’s Guide to Crisis Leadership, 2nd Edition

$34.99

When “blindsided” by a crisis, are you ready to be the real leader who brings strength of character and split-second action to restore a “new normal”? Workplace violence, natural disaster, or worse — it comes down to who you are and what you do in the face of the test. Learn time-tested skills to make a difference in crisis leadership! In this new, completely updated and expanded 2nd edition of Blindsided, Bruce Blythe walks you through the foolproof step-by-step system to become the kind of leader he calls a “crisis whisperer.” Result: You will never be “blindsided” again!

 

Description

You Can Lead Through the Unexpected – No Matter What the Crisis!

Blythe has divided Blindsided into two operational sections — giving you two books in one. Much of his emphasis is on the often-neglected human side of crisis leadership and crisis management. He goes beyond protecting tangible assets to instilling principled concern for human well-being into every decision.

In the first half of the book, Blythe lands you in the middle of a fast-breaking crisis an active shooter in the corridor outside your office — and uses real-world case studies, examples, and checklists to show what a top-notch leader would need to do in each phase of the crisis. Then, in the second half of the book, he demonstrates how to apply this knowledge to develop and implement your own crisis management plan.Blindsided is two books in one: Crisis Response and Crisis Preparedness.

Part 1. Crisis Response:

  • Using the technique of focused imagery, Blythe places you in a dramatic and realistic scenario. You’re now an unprepared manager blindsided by the reality of an active shooter loose in your building. Some workers may already be injured or dead.
  • What’s your next move? How do you make sure everybody is safe? How do you set up teams, command centers, crisis containment, and effective communication? How do you protect your corporate reputation throughout this life-changing event? Can you rebuild the spirit, cohesion, and productivity of employees in the post-crisis “new normal”?
  • At the start of the book — before you lived the sudden crisis in this simulation, a crisis response plan may have been “someday” project — now it’s a priority.

Part 2. Crisis Preparedness:

  • Now you embark on building a crisis response plan — or enhancing the one you have.
  • Without losing the urgency and probable fear of the specific event, Blythe guides you and your teams to analyze foreseeable risks, evaluate existing controls, add new ones, test and re-evaluate the plan.
  • Analyzing the behavior of national and world leaders, you distinguish clearly the two kinds of leaders who emerge in a crisis: the “crisis whisperer” who becomes a calm center in the storm, and the one in the “crisis red zone,” worsening the situation with every word and every decision.
  • You learn to employ the Be-Know-Do leadership model (adapted from military) that has been implemented by senior management teams throughout the world. If there is ever a time that training and informed quick response action matter most, it’s in a crisis.

NEW in the 2nd edition:

  • How to apply the Reasonable Person Test and Wall Street Journal Test to crisis decision management decisions in advance. New chapter on Reputation Management shows how to make the right decisions, before reputation and bottom line suffer!
  • How to avoid falling into the “Crisis Red Zone,” in which your leadership effectiveness can evaporate.
  • How to lead the workforce into a “New Normal,” even in the wake of the most upsetting and disorienting crisis.
  • How to develop Crisis Response Teams as part of your Crisis Management Plan – selecting and training the right people for the job.
  • How to anticipate important Crisis Management risks that are trending and will be part of your future – and how to prepare for them in a Crisis Management Plan that works for today and tomorrow.

Blindsided includes practical forms, checklists, case studies, real-life examples, glossary, index, discussion questions, and other take-and-use tools, including:

  • Quick Use Response Guide: Each of the 15 chapters end with a summary checklist — together they form a ready-reference pocket guide.
  • Incident Checklists for 9 Major Crises: Practical checklists for accidental deaths, aircraft crash, chemical/toxic exposure, civil unrest, earthquake, explosion/fire, flood, kidnap ransom, shooting, plus 20 other foreseeable risks.
  • 20-Page Guide for Addressing Families of the Injured: What to say/do to help families of fatalities or seriously injured with medical/financial assistance, emotional support — and training teams assigned to work with them.

We probably can’t avoid most crises…. not yet. However, with Blythe’s powerful, deep-digging guidance, you may never again be blindsided!

Bruce T. Blythe is a global crisis management consultant, clinical psychologist, executive coach to Fortune managers; owner/chairman of three companies providing crisis management services; and speaker at 50 conferences worldwide each year.

2014, 400 pages, glossary, index, 6×9 paperback, ISBN 978-1-931332-69-9

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Preface
Foreword by Luke R. Corbett
Foreword by Daniel Diermeier

PART 1: CRISIS RESPONSE

Introduction: Now What Do You Do?

0.1 Crisis Leadership Moments
0.2 Imagining the Worst, and Picturing What to Do
0.3 Phases
0.3.1 Impact Phase
0.3.2 Immediately Afterward
0.3.3 Hours Later
0.3.4 The Aftermath Phase
0.4 Managing Your Way Through a Crisis
0.4.1 Impact Phase
0.4.2 Immediately Afterward
0.4.3 Hours Later
0.4.4 The Aftermath Phase

Chapter 1: Crisis Leadership: The Crisis Whisperer

1.1 Finding Crisis Leadership
1.2 Becoming a Crisis Whisperer
1.3 Be-Know-Do
1.3.1 What Do You Need to Be
1.3.2 What Do You Need to Know?
1.3.3 What Do You Need to Do?
1.4 A Crisis Whisperer in Action
1.5 The Five Guiding Principles of Crisis Leadership
1.5 The Five Guiding Principles of Crisis Leadership
1.6 Crisis Leadership Mindset — CIA
1.6.1 Core Assets
1.6.2 Involved Stakeholders
1.6.3 Anticipation
1.6.3 Anticipation

Chapter 2: Taking Decisive Action

2.1 Three Ways You Could Get the News
2.1.1 Personally Involved
2.1.2 Near But Not Involved
2.1.3 Remote From the Incident
2.2 Breaking it Down
2.3 You’ll Need to Act Fast
2.4 The Hunt for Information: Four Questions
2.4.1 What Happened?
2.4.2 How Bad Is It?
2.4.3 What Is Being Done?
2.4.4 What is the Potential for Escalation?
2.5 Keep the Big Picture in Mind
2.6 Crisis Decision Making
2.7 Use a Model to Optimize Decision Making
2.7.1 Scan
2.7.2 Identify
2.7.3 Predict
2.7.4 Decide
2.7.5 Execute
2.8 A Manager in Crisis
2.8.1 Damage Control
2.8.2 Orchestrating Your Response
2.8.3 The Imperative for Rapid Response
2.9 Four Categories of Concern
2.9.1 People
2.9.2 Business Disruption
2.9.3 Reputation
2.9.4 Finances
2.10 Other Priority-Setting Strategies
2.11 Checklist of Immediate Action Items
Quick Use Response Guide

Chapter 3: Crisis

3.1 We’re Now Entering the Crisis Containment Phase
3.2 The Six Phases of Managing a Crisis
3.2.1 Phase 1: Notification and Activation
3.2.2 Phase 2: Fact Finding
3.2.3 Phase 3: Decision-Making
3.2.4 Phase 4: Prioritizing
3.2.5 Phase 5: Implementation
3.2.6 Phase 6: Purposeful De-escalation
3.3 Crisis Command Center (CCC)
3.3.2 The Ideal Room
3.3.3 Other Possibilities
3.3.4 Special Roles
3.3.5 Additional Command Center Tips
3.4 Crisis Action Team (CAT) Leader
3.5 Initial CAT Meeting
Quick Use Response Guide
Chapter 3 — Questions for Further Thought and Discussion

Chapter 4: Order Out of Chaos

4.1 Understanding the Crisis
4.2 Crisis Decision-making Revisited
4.3 Common Crisis Management Problems — ACE
4.3.1 Authority
4.3.2 Communications
4.3.3 Expectations
4.4 Psychological First Aid
4.5 Rallying the Troops
4.5.1 Who is Hurting?
4.5.2 Prepare for Family Members
4.5.3 Tell What They Know
4.6 Employee De-escalation Meetings
4.6.1 De-escalation Meeting Content
4.7 Taking Stock
4.8.1 Background
4.8.2 All-Tech Response
4.8.3 Momentum Response
Quick Use Response Guide
“Day One” Guidelines and Considerations
Chapter 4 — Questions for Further Thought and Discussion References

Chapter 5: Crisis Communications

5.1 Setting the Ground Rules for Effective Crisis Communications
5.1.1 Delegating During a Crisis Response
5.1.2 Giving Information Out: Keeping Control of the Message
5.1.3 Honesty — the Best Policy — Does Not Mean Saying Everything
5.1.4 Communication Is a Human Art
5.2 Media Relations During A Crisis
5.2.1 Before a Press Conference or Interview
5.2.2 Working with the Press Corps
5.2.3 Beyond the News Media
5.2.4 Protect Your People from Media Intrusions
5.2.5 Ongoing and Long-term Communications
5.3 Notifying Others of the Situation
5.3.1 Notification vs. Mobilization
5.3.2 Key Contacts
5.3.3 Beyond Phone Numbers
5.3.4 Emergency Response Team (ERT)
5.3.5 Crisis Management Team (CMT)
5.4 Notifying Throughout the Organization
5.4.1 Board of Directors
5.4.2 Corporate Counsel
5.4.3 Staff Positions
5.4.4 The Rest of the List
5.5 Delivering Initial Notification
5.6 Notifying Family of Fatalities and Serious Injury
5.7 A Team with Heart
5.8 Management with a Heart
5.8.1 Senior Management Visits
5.8.2 Saying the Right Thing When It Matters
Chapter 5 — Questions for Further Thought and Discussion
References

Chapter 6: Reputation Management

6.1 The Age of Crises
6.2 The Good Samaritan Principle
6.2.1 Response of Wal-Mart and Sears to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy
6.3 Trust-Building Components
6.3.1 Transparency
6.3.2 Expertise
6.3.3 Commitment
6.3.4 Empathy
6.4 Anticipation and Preparation
6.5 Leading Under Pressure
6.5.1 The Psychology of Reputation
6.5.2 The Anatomy of Blame
6.5.3 Crisis Leadership Roles
6.5.4 Outside Advisors and Consultants
6.6 Towards a Reputation Management Capability
Quick Use Response Guide
Chapter 6 — Questions for Further Thought and Discussion
References

Chapter 7: Establishing the New Normal

7.1 It’s Back to Work We Go
7.2 Your Window of Opportunity
7.3 The First Day Back
7.3.1 The Management Briefing
7.3.2 Ways of Listening
7.4 A Program for Recovery: Psychological First Aid
7.4.1 Traditional Psychological Debriefings Not Recommended
7.4.2 Positive Coping Strategies Needed
7.4.3 Individual Assessment and Counseling
7.4.4 Early Intervention
7.5 Phasing Back Into Productive Work
7.5.1 Supervisory Monitoring
7.5.2 Purposeful Disengagement
7.5.3 Anniversary Effect
7.6 Operational Debriefing for Lessons-Learned
Chapter 7 — Questions for Further Thought and Discussion
References

PART 2: CRISIS PREPAREDNESS

Chapter 8: The First Step to Preparedness

8.1 The Financial Impact of Preparedness
8.2 The Prepared Manager
8.2.1 How Prepared Are You?
8.3 Crisis Management is About People
8.3.1 Impacted Employees
8.3.2 Your Organization Is a Human System
8.3.3 Good vs. Poor Crisis Response
8.4 The Process of Preparedness
8.4.1 Applying the Five Steps: Two Examples
8.4.1.1 Workplace Violence
8.4.1.2 Executive Air Travel
8.5 Set up the Crisis Planning Committee (CPC)
8.5.1 Multidisciplinary Perspectives
8.5.2 Team Decision-Making Works
8.5.3 A Daunting Task Demands a Strong Group Effort
8.6 How to Set Up a CPC
8.6.1 Determine the Scope
8.6.2 Identify Champions
8.6.3 Select the CPC Members
8.6.3.1 Why You Need an Attorney
8.6.3.2 Select a Consultant
8.6.4 Set an Agenda
8.6.5 Establish a Budget
8.6.6 Make a Schedule
8.6.7 Conduct the Meetings
8.6.8 What to Avoid as a CPC
Quick Use Preparedness Guide
Chapter 8: The First Step to Preparedness
Chapter 8: Questions for Further Thought and Discussion
References

Chapter 9: Analyzing Your Foreseeable Risks

9.1 How Societal Change Has Generated Risks
9.2 The Ripple Effect of Vulnerability
9.3 Identifying and Analyzing Foreseeable Risks
9.3.1 Thinking About Likely Scenarios
9.4 What’s Likely to Happen? Analyzing Crisis Probability
9.4.1 Risk Analysis Checklist
9.5 How Bad Could It Be? Analyzing Crisis Severity
9.5.1 Protecting Your Core Assets
9.5.2 Blame Revisited
9.5.3 Plotting Probability and Severity on the Foreseeable Risk Analysis Grid
9.5.4 Additional Considerations in Assessing Severity
9.5.4.1 Legal Liability
9.5.4.2 Public Relations
9.5.4.3 Investors
9.5.4.4 Safety
9.5.4.5 Productivity
9.5.4.6 Outrage
9.5.4.7 Recruiting
9.5.4.8 Key Relationships
Quick Use Preparedness Guide
Chapter 9: Questions for Further Thought and Discussion
References

Chapter 10: Evaluating Your Existing Crisis Procedures

10.1 Evaluate and Enhance Your Strengths
10.2 Leverage Your Strengths to Enhance Preparedness
10.2.1 Time
10.2.2 Money
10.2.3 Effort
10.3 Existing Controls: Where to Look and What to Look For
10.4 What You Should Look For:Clear Strategy and Good Tactics
10.4.1 Assessing Strategy and Tactics: One Example
10.4.1.1 Validity vs. Reliability
10.4.1.2 Strategy
10.4.2 Leave No Strategy or Tactic Unevaluated
10.4.3 Now Enhance Your Strengths
10.5 Common Elements of Preparedness Plans
10.5.1 Security Risks
10.5.2 Cyber Security
10.5.2 Public Relations (PR)
10.5.3 Company Website
10.5.5 Backup Command Center Location
10.5.6 Notification Plans
Quick Use Preparedness Guide
Chapter 10: Questions for Further Thought and Discussion
References

Chapter 11: Organizing New Controls and Drafting Your New Plans

11.1 Addressing Weaknesses Through Controls
11.1.1 Benchmarking New Controls
11.1.2 Brainstorming New Controls
11.2 Use a Scenario to Imagine the Worst — and Control It
11.2.1 Select a Scenario for Your Brainstorming
11.2.2 Consider the Stakeholders
11.2.3 Examine Possible Consequences
11.2.4 Anticipate Cascading Effects
11.3 The Reasonable Person Test
11.3.1 Example: Security Fence
11.3.2 Example: Airline Security
11.3.3 Value of the Reasonable Person Test
11.4 The Darker Side of “Reasonable”: Pan Am 103
11.5 Primary vs. Secondary Prevention
11.6 Bringing It Down to Earth: Identifying New Controls
11.7 No Company Is an Island
11.8 New Controls Can Challenge Your Culture
11.9 Consider the Whole System
11.10 Integration
11.10.1 Three Tiers Within Your Crisis Planning
11.11 Addressing Unique Cultural Issues in Your Plan
11.11.1 Anticipating Resistance and “Smoothing in” New Controls
11.11.2 Don’t Go It Alone
11.12 Gaining Senior Management Buy-In
11.12.1 Reframe Your Role
11.12.2 Executive Sponsor
11.12.3 Know the Landscape
11.12.4 Additional Resources
11.12.5 Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
Quick Use Preparedness Guide
Chapter 11: Questions for Further Thought and Discussion

Chapter 12: Putting Plans, and Teams in Action

12.1 Setting Up Effective Teams
12.1.1 The Right Mix Makes a Stronger Team
12.1.2 Evaluate Stress Styles
12.2 Activating Teams
12.2.1 Crisis Manuals and Protocols
12.3 Training…and Practice…and More Practice
12.3.1 Exercising the Plan
12.3.2 Exercise Outcomes
12.3.3 Developing Scenarios for Exercises and Simulations
12.4 Planning and Testing Integrated Crisis Response
12.4.1 Addressing Expectations
12.4.2 Integration Failure Points
12.4.3 Debriefing for Lessons-Learned
Quick Use Preparedness Guide
Chapter 12: Putting Plans and Teams in Action
Chapter 12: Questions for Further Thought and Discussion

Chapter 13: Reevaluating Your Results

13.1 The Need for a Monitoring Process
13.2 Implementing the Monitoring Process
13.2.1 Who Should Be Responsible for Monitoring?
13.2.2 Process Guardian
13.3 What to Monitor?
13.4 Desired Outcomes
13.5 Taking Internal Inventory
13.5.1 Scrutinizing Your Various Crisis Teams
13.5.2 Taking External Inventory
13.5.3 Ongoing Exercises and Debriefings
13.6 De-escalation
Quick Use Preparedness Guide
Chapter 13: Re-evaluating Your Results
Chapter 13 — Questions for Further Thought and Discussion

Chapter 14: A Look into the Future

14.1 Integration
14.1.1 Enterprise Risk Management
14.1.2 Software and Apps
14.1.3 Emergency Communications Systems
14.1.4 Public/Private Partnerships
14.1.5 International Organization for Standardization (ISO
14.1.6 R3 Continuum
14.2 Social Media
14.3 Crisis Frequency and Severity
14.4 Emerging Threats and Change
14.5 New Targets Are Arising
14.6 Preparedness Equals Power
14.7 So What Lies Ahead?
14.7.1 House of Cards
14.7.2 Social Media Revisited
14.7.3 The Internet
14.7.4 Leverage
14.7.5 Copycats
14.7.6 Terrorism
14.7.7 Drones
14.7.8 Progressive Severity
14.8 The Expectation of Preparedness
14.9 Facing the Uncertain Future With Effectiveness
14.10 Parting Wish
Quick Use Preparedness Guide
Chapter 14: A Look Into the Future
References

Chapter 15: Incident Checklist

15.1 Accidental Deaths
15.1.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.1.2 Unique Considerations
15.2 Aircraft Crash
15.2.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.2.2 Unique Considerations
15.3 Chemical/Toxic Exposure
15.3.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.3.2 Unique Considerations
15.4 Civil Unrest
15.4.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.4.2 Unique Considerations
15.5 Earthquake
15.5.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.5.2 Unique Considerations
15.6 Explosion/Fire
15.6.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.6.2 Unique Considerations
15.7 Flood
15.7.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.7.2 Unique Considerations
15.8 Kidnap and Ransom
15.8.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.8.2 Unique Considerations
15.9 Shooting
15.9.1 Immediate Action Steps
15.9.2 Unique Considerations
15.10 Additional Crises

A Final Word from the Author

Glossary

Appendix A: Addressing the Families of the Injured

Index

About The Author

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We chose the services of Crisis Management International due to the same structured crisis response protocol found in this book. A large part of truly being able to take care of your team is ensuring that your leaders have the training and the ability to effectively deal with threats and crisis.”

~ Chris W. Nelson, Director, Investigations, Target Corporation Assets Protection

In the aftermath of 9/11, CMI responded to our critical and ever-changing crisis needs with professionalism and expertise. Their crisis response methods helped our people return to productive lives, personally and professionally.”

~ Betsy Leavitt, Corporate EAP Manager, Mellon Financial Corporation

Crisis Management International often gets the first phone call from companies that have experienced disaster, and has helped 150 firms recover after September 11. CMI’s founder and CEO, Bruce T. Blythe, has written Blindsided: A Manager’s Guide to Catastrophic Incidents in the Workplace, a guide to securing a business’ structure and rebuilding employees’ spirits in times of trouble. The thorough and timely book is divided in two parts: response and preparedness. Since last year’s terrorist attacks, “the possibilities for crisis in the workplace are more ominous and far more real,” Blythe says. His book will be a boon to leaders, offering field-tested approaches, development plans and reference tips. Blindsided is must reading for every manager and executive of every organization and institution in America.

~ Ian Mitroff, The Harold Quinton Dispatched Professor of Business Policy at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, and author of The Essential Guide to Managing Corporate Crises

The need to prepare your company for crisis has never been so clear. The guidance you need is in this book. Bruce Blythe has distilled his knowledge and experience into [a format] that is powerful, accessible and complete. It will help you lead your organization through disaster — mostly by helping you prepare for it.

Having served as CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I appreciate the importance of addressing the needs of the business and those of our valued shareholders. We can address those needs only by making a sincere effort to attend to our people, who are truly our most valuable asset.

I can personally attest to the value of the crisis management system that Bruce Blythe outlines in Blindsided. With such a system in place, I have seen the people at a company work through a major crisis together to become a stronger, more compassionate organization.”

~ Luke R. Corbett, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kerr-McGee Holdings, Inc.; Member, Board of Directors, OGE Energy Corp.

While leaders are increasingly aware of the importance of crisis management, all too often they fail when the time comes. Executives have no shortage of advice [but] Bruce Blythe’s book is different. It’s packed with practically useful advice, covers virtually any type of crisis a company can encounter, and is filled with useful checklists and concrete steps. In short, what we have here is a step-by-step guide to process excellence.

The book really shines in its understanding of people, and Bruce puts the human side of crisis management front and center. Crisis management involves the whole person. It magnifies virtues and flaws, and can bring out the best in people – and the worst. The book puts the reader right into the middle of a crisis, shows how even the best leaders can panic and why and gives concrete and actionable advice to be mentally ready for the crucible of leadership. Crisis leadership is not only about knowing and doing; it’s also about who we are as people.

Effective leaders connect deeply with their people, nowhere more than during a crisis. The essential need to take care of one’s people during a crisis is one of the cornerstones of the book. This includes concrete steps from de-escalation meetings to crisis care. People, with their fears, concerns, and immediate needs, are always at the center of crisis leadership. Bruce calls its ‘management with a heart,’ and he takes the reader through some of the toughest moments in the life of a leader. But it is these moments that create legendary leaders or cut short a promising career.

In sum, Bruce Blythe’s book is a veritable encyclopedia of crisis leadership, rich in strategic insights, invaluable for any leader that wants to improve their organization’s crisis management capabilities.”

~ Dr. Daniel Diermeier, IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice, Department of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences, and Director of Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Blindsided offers practical, down-to-earth advice in dealing with crises. It is an excellent book which outlines step-by-step procedures on how to manage crisis situations and minimize fallout on organizations while keeping a moral compass. It is a must-have in a crisis manager’s reading list, and an essential companion to a business continuity plan.”

~ Lyndon Bird, Technical Director, The Business Continuity Institute

Virtually every day we hear about a new emergency or crisis. Hacking, identity theft, disease, natural disaster, terrorism—the list seems endless and the impact is often tragic. Preparing for and responding well to such challenges doesn’t just happen, and the stakes are always high.

Now security professionals have a reference to help them both prepare for and respond to these situations effectively and with confidence. The second edition of Bruce Blythe’s Blindsided: A Manager’s Guide to Crisis Leadership provides helpful insights useful in both strategic and tactical preparation, as well as thoughtful prescriptions for the human side of crisis response.

The book is full of checklists, case studies, response guides, and resources to minimize the impact of crises and to help personnel deal with unavoidable adversity. Each chapter includes an action checklist or response guide, along with stimulating questions to help in thinking through particular situations. The combination forms a helpful addition to the case studies and real-life examples with which the book is replete.

Security professionals and their organizations can’t always avoid crisis, but Blindsided will help them be ready to deal with any that occur on their watch.

~ Mayer Nudell is an independent consultant on crisis management, contingency planning, and related issues. He is also an adjunct professor at Webster University and a member of ASIS. Nudell is coauthor of The Handbook of Effective Emergency and Crisis Management. This review appeared in Security Management Magazine.

 

 

Bruce T. Blythe is an internationally acclaimed crisis management expert. He is the owner and chairman of three companies that provide employers with a continuum of crisis preparedness, crisis response, and employee return-to-work services:

  • Crisis Management International (Atlanta-based) is the preparedness arm of the three companies. CMI has assisted hundreds of companies worldwide with crisis and business continuity planning, training and exercising. CMI also provides workplace violence preparedness programs and threat of violence consultations through a specialty network of threat management specialists, including former FBI and Secret Service agents.
  • Crisis Care Network (based in Grand Rapids, Michigan) responds to corporate crisis situations 1,000 times per month through a North American network of crisis mental health professionals.
  • Behavioral Medical Interventions (Minneapolis-based) accelerates employee return-to-work for workers comp and non- occupational injury cases.

Blythe has been personally involved in crises such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, mass murders at the U.S. Postal Service, the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, commercial air crashes, rescue of kidnap and ransom hostages, Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina, earthquakes, fires, floods, and reputational crises. He serves as a consultant and certified coach to numerous Fortune executives and managers in Strategic Crisis Leadership preparedness and response. He has served in the Military Police for the U.S. Marine Corps. He’s a certified clinical psychologist and has been a consultant to the FBI on workplace violence and terrorism.

Widely regarded as a thought leader in the crisis management and business continuity industries, Blythe has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CNN, ABC’s 20/20, CBS’ 48 Hours, CNBC, NPR and others. Fast Company Magazine published a cover-story article about Blythe’s leadership in responding to 204 companies onsite, all within three weeks following 9/11. He provides commentary in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Business Week, Smart Money, New Yorker, Fortune Magazine and USA Today.

He serves as a keynote presenter to 50 national and international conferences per year.

Upon confirming adoption as a required classroom text with course title/date/estimated number of students, instructors may access all accompanying Instructional Materials. These include 371 PowerPoint slides and an Instructor’s Manual with Key Takeaways and Discussion Question Rubrics.

SAMPLES of these materials and a complimentary copy of the text are available upon request to use in evaluating this book for classroom use.

Instructor's Manual

The Instructor’s Manual for Blindsided: A Manager’s Guide to Crisis Leadership, 2nd Edition, Blindsided: A Manager’s Guide to Crisis Leadership, 2nd Edition, includes:

  • Key Takeaways for each chapter. These build upon and add detail to the outline given on the first page of each chapter.
  • Rubrics as guidelines for possible content for responses to the chapter Questions for Further Thought and Discussion.

SAMPLES FOR CHAPTER 1

Crisis Leadership: The Crisis Whisperer

Key Takeaways

  • There are time-tested approaches to crisis management that you can use as effective guidelines to keep on track in a crisis, even if your organization hasn’t yet developed a customized crisis management program.
  • A crisis whisperer is a highly effective leader who displays noteworthy calm and influence in a crisis and gets impressive results.
  • Every leader needs to learn how to be a crisis leader, not just a tactical responder. A tactical responder reacts to things as they occur and has short-term focus; a crisis leader anticipates what’s ahead and has a long-term focus based on guiding principles.
  • Crisis leadership is more about who you are than what you know. A crisis leader must have strong character, ethics, and integrity. He or she must act deliberately, quickly, and effectively in high-stress, high-risk situations. Only a person with a strong character can manage that kind of situation without sinking into self-serving, self-protective behavior that will undermine the goal of protecting the entire organization and its people–not just one’s own silo.
  • Managers can use the Strategic Crisis Leadership Checklist (page 26) during a crisis.
  • The US Army defines the three basic components of leadership as Be-Know-Do:
    • Be = Who you are
    • Know = Skills and knowledge you’ve acquired
    • Do = Actions you take on a timely basis
      • To be an effective crisis leader, you must be caring; you must make stakeholders believe you care about them. You must also be calmly assertive; you must model a sense of calm control while moving toward active crisis involvement. Being actively and visibly involved in crisis management is crucial, because otherwise you will lose credibility. If you do not remain calmly assertive and actively involved, you can enter the crisis leadership “red zone,” where frustration and the need to dominate or avoid will lead to a meltdown. In this situation, your unknown character flaws, incompetencies, and knowledge gaps emerge. Using the Strategic Crisis Leadership Checklist will help you compensate for those unknowns when the heat is on.
      • To be an effective crisis leader, you must know the values of your organization for crisis resolution and have a clear vision of what a good outcome looks like. Your vision, values, and guiding principles must address the greater good of the organization and its stakeholders. Use those principles as a beacon when making decisions and implementing actions.
      • To be an effective crisis leader, you must do the right things. What is right is determined by industry knowledge and established higher purposes, as well as by good moral values and ethics. Even if you make mistakes, involved stakeholders will recognize your honest intent. You must also engage in ongoing two-way communication with stakeholders. Listen to stakeholders and then tell them clearly what they need to know, when they need to know it. Remain visible and available and update them frequently, especially when new information comes in that requires you to change course.
    • CEO Gary Garfield’s approach to crisis management is a seven-step model for being a crisis whisperer:
      • Questioning: Ask questions to get the facts.
      • Input: Ask for input on what to do.
      • Options: Lay out the options for crisis response.
      • Decisions: Make decisions, either in collaboration or unilaterally.
      • Actions: Implement decisive actions on a timely basis, even if all the facts aren’t in yet.
      • Corrections: Ask for feedback and make corrections.
      • Calm Assertiveness: Remain respectful, nonthreatening, and calm.
    • Having guiding principles in place before a crisis happens is essential because you’ll be able to use them as a roadmap through the crisis. Here are five guiding principles of crisis leadership:
      • Put the well-being of people first and treat them with caring and compassion.
      • Assume appropriate responsibility for managing the crisis.
      • Address the needs and concerns of all stakeholders in a timely manner.
      • Make all decisions and take all actions based on honesty, legal guidelines, and ethical principles.
      • Communicate openly and visibly with all impacted parties and remain available to them until the crisis is resolved.
    • Additional guiding principles may be appropriate in a particular industry.
    • The things that you should focus on during a crisis are CIA:
      • Core assets
      • Involved stakeholders
      • Anticipation
        • Beyond the physical assets of the business, core assets include reputation, people, finances, and trust. To protect core assets, look beyond the immediate situation and go down the Strategic Crisis Leadership Checklist to determine whether any of the listed assets might be in danger.
        • Involved stakeholders include anyone who might be harmed by the crisis. Identify these stakeholders and address their needs and concerns on a timely basis. A list of potential stakeholders is included in the Strategic Crisis Leadership Checklist.
        • Good crisis leaders anticipate: they look out the windshield of the crisis to identify what is on the horizon. It’s important to balance responding to the crisis in the short term with anticipating and addressing potential repercussions.

Questions for Further Thought and Discussion (pp. 30—32): Rubrics

DISCUSSION QUESTION 1: “Where in your experience have you dealt with a leader who could be called a crisis whisperer? While such leaders can be found in the corporate and business worlds, you may also have seen them in military, medical, government, neighborhood, law enforcement, and other situations. What were the traits and actions of this individual?”

Note: Responses will vary but should highlight some or all of the following ideas, as illustrated by the situation.

  • How the crisis leader demonstrated the ability to anticipate future events; a long-term focus based on guiding principles; and the character, ethics, and integrity to act calmly and decisively in ways that protected the whole organization.
  • How the crisis whisperer avoided self-serving, self-protective behavior.
  • How the crisis leader was effective in the short and long term and engendered trust in involved stakeholders.

DISCUSSION QUESTION 2: “Have you ever worked with a leader who entered the red zone at a critical point in a crisis? What were the short-range and long-range outcomes of the situation and for the people involved? If you had been in that leader’s position, what might you have done differently?”

Note: Responses will vary but should highlight some or all of the following ideas, as illustrated by the situation.

  • Description of the attitude and behavior of a leader who failed to maintain calm assertiveness, instead becoming so frustrated that he or she tried to either dominate or avoid the situation. The leader may have begun to act overwhelmed, angry, or combative during a crisis or play blame games to avoid responsibility for the crisis.
  • Analysis of the particular aspects of the leader’s character that led to “red zone” behavior under stress.
  • Comparison of student’s character to that of the leader and discussion of whether or not the student could have maintained calm assertiveness in that crisis situation and what challenges the student would have faced in attempting to do so.

DISCUSSION QUESTION 3: “Are there additional guiding principles for crisis management that you feel are applicable to specific industries or your present situation?”

Note: Responses will vary but should highlight some or all of the following ideas, as illustrated by the situation.

  • This question is looking for principles beyond the five standard guiding principles of crisis leadership. The student may believe that these five principles cover the situation he or she is writing about and, if so, should justify that response by giving examples of actual or hypothetical but reality-based crises in which these principles would be put to the test.
    • The five principles are (1) putting the well-being of people first; (2) assuming appropriate responsibility for managing the crisis; (3) addressing the needs and concerns of all stakeholders in a timely manner; (4) making all decisions and taking all actions based on honesty, legal guidelines, and ethical principles; and (5) communicating openly and visibly with all impacted parties and remaining available to them until the crisis is resolved.
  • Additional guiding principles should reflect compassion; knowledge of what a good outcome looks like for the involved stakeholders; and technical knowledge of the industry, understanding of its governing laws/regulations, and awareness of various stakeholders and how they could be impacted.
Power Point Slides
  • Over 370 slides, many with color, align with the book and provide a visual outline of key information so students can easily follow your lecture.
  • Each chapter’s slides begin by presenting the learning objectives and end with class discussion questions. Notes are provided, referring instructors and students to the page number in the text to find more information on that topic.
  • Slides can be printed as a handout for students, with space for their note taking.
  • In combination with the chapter Key Takeaways and Discussion Question Rubrics, the slides allow the instructor to be thoroughly prepared to lead a dynamic, high-value class.

 

Blindsided _Slide2

Blindsided _Slide3

Blindsided _Slide4

 

Teaching Aids
The book itself includes useful teaching aids as illustrated by these excerpts:

Blindsided was originally published in 2002, soon after the tragedy of 9/11. Over a decade later, I began to write this 2nd edition to update the formidable lessons I have learned since that time into a balanced strategic and tactical crisis management approach to support you and every manager in your organization in becoming a better leader in times of crisis.

My commitment is to help you reduce your exposure to chaos and threat by guiding you as you analyze foreseeable risks and create a master plan for crisis response. These are lessons that have become essential for any organization.

I offer my thoughts as if I were sitting next to you at your desk, with real-world examples of what has worked – and not worked – in my 30 years of experience with hundreds of companies just like yours.

I have included new, step-by-step scenarios for you to work through both the response and planning process – individually or in teams – involving such crises as a shooter in the building, a pandemic, or a kidnapping. In the first half of the book I address immediate response – what to do if you are “blindsided” by a totally unexpected crisis.

In the second half of this book you will learn what you need to know about planning and training – learning from the lessons in the first half of the book, and then applying the best practices outlined here to design a full crisis response plan.

And if you already have a crisis response plan, you can fine-tune it based on the guidance in this book.

In this new 2nd edition, I include:

  •  How to apply the “reasonable person test” and the “Wall Street Journal test” to your crisis management decisions in advance – before your reputation and bottom line suffer in the courtroom or in the press.
  • What it takes for you to become a “crisis whisperer” who is effective in the most challenging situations, and how to avoid falling into the “crisis red zone” which can cause your leadership effectiveness to evaporate.
  •  How to achieve the “new normal” for your workforce and other crisis survivors in the days following the most upsetting and disorienting crisis.
  •  The steps for developing crisis response teams – choosing the right team members, conducting training, designing and carrying out a range of crisis response exercises, and evaluating the outcome and lessons-learned.
  • Practical steps for being organized in advance to handle the families of those who are injured or lost in a crisis event – including powerful, time-tested instructions for communicating the most tragic news in person with empathy and dignity.

Although I began the 1st edition of Blindsided before the attacks of September 11, 2001, I completed the book with recognition that the rules had changed. Today, those changing rules still prevail. A sense of safety and security once commonplace among employees and employers had been severely compromised. The possibilities for crisis in the workplace continue to be ominous and real.Regrettably, there is nothing that says the world is a less dangerous place.

Yesterday’s crisis management plan does not accommodate the possibilities of tomorrow. For that reason, in this 2nd edition, I include a chapter on the crisis management risks and corresponding controls that are trending in our future. What’s needed by businesses now is a proven method to ensure that not only your facilities and reputation are rebuilt, but that the spirit, cohesion, and productivity of your employees are, too.

It is my hope that the ideas and instruction contained in these pages will be thoroughly understood and practiced – and hopefully never put to the real test. “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst” certainly applies. But if you follow these guidelines and crisis does strike, you will be ready. You may feel concerned and unsure in some ways, but you will not be blindsided. It is my pleasure to assist you as you strive to achieve the calm assurance of preparedness.

Bruce T. Blythe, Chairman
Crisis Management International, Inc.
Atlanta, Georgia
Crisis Care Network, Inc.
Grand Rapids,Michigan
Behavioral Medical Interventions, LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
February, 2014

Emerging elements of the modern world can threaten any organization. Yet with proper preparation and guidance from crisis management professionals, I know from personal experience that you can influence the effects that catastrophes have on your organization.

I can personally attest to the value of the crisis management system that Bruce Blythe outlines in Blindsided. With such a system in place, I have seen the people at a company work through a major crisis together to become a stronger, more compassionate organization.

No one can predict the site of the next catastrophe, but all of us can – and must – prepare for the possibility that it will hit our neighborhood. In its continually evolving forms, terrorism has become one more risk for all companies to face – along with workplace violence, industrial accidents, product tampering, and natural disasters.

Having served as CEO of a Fortune 500 company, I appreciate the importance of addressing the needs of the business and those of our valued shareholders. We can address those needs only by making a sincere effort to attend to our people, who are truly our most valuable asset.

Bruce Blythe has distilled his knowledge and experience into a book that is powerful, accessible, and complete. It will help you lead your organization through disaster – mostly by helping you prepare for it.

The goal of crisis management is for your organization to survive. You may never get back to exactly where you were before. But a well-managed crisis can actually leave your organization stronger, more resilient, and better tuned to the world than it was before.

The need to prepare your company for crisis has never been so clear. The guidance you need is in this book.

 

Luke R. Corbett
Former Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer, Kerr-McGee Holdings, Inc.
Member, Board of Directors,
OGE Energy Corp.

 

Business, it seems, has entered the age of crisis. Almost every day, another venerable company or institution finds itself in the headlines, and usually not in a flattering context. In addition to a long list of global corporations, public sector institutions and non-profits are increasingly forced to deal with serious crises. Recent organizations on the list included, among others, retailer Target, financial giant JPMorgan Chase, and Italian pasta maker Barilla as well as Paula Deen and the NSA. The events that can trigger a crisis can come from anywhere: product quality or safety issues, attacks or boycott threats by radical activists, rogue employees, accidents, natural disasters, kidnappings, extortion attempts or cases of workplace violence. Often the specific incident mushrooms into a reputational crisis that can inflict lasting damage on companies and their leaders. There are various reasons for this development. The rise of social media accompanied by ever higher expectations about corporate conduct plus the complexities of operating in a global business environment have all contributed to the increasing crisis potential. And none of these mega-trends will reverse anytime soon. Business leaders are worried, and board members have started to take notice.

While leaders are increasingly aware of the importance of crisis management and preparedness, all too often they fail when the time comes. Executives have no shortage of advice. Crisis consulting is a thriving business, and crisis management books fill the book shelves. There is much useful advice available, but often executives struggle to follow that advice when it matters.

Bruce Blythe’s book is different. It is packed with practically useful advice and covers virtually any type of crisis a company can encounter, from a workplace shooting to an industrial accident. The book is filled with useful checklists and concrete steps for how to set up effective crisis management processes, including crisis preparedness, assessment of foreseeable risks, review of current procedures, design of new processes and controls, and finally, ongoing review, learning, and improvement. In short, what we have is a step-by-step guide to process excellence.

The book really shines in its understanding of people. From the “reasonable person test” to steps for how to avoid falling into the “crisis red zone,” Bruce puts the human side of crisis management front and center. Crisis management is not an abstract strategic exercise; it involves the whole person. It magnifies virtues and flaws and can bring out the best in people – and the worst. The book puts the reader right into the middle of a crisis, shows how even the best leaders can panic and why, and gives concrete and actionable advice to be mentally ready for the crucible of leadership. Crisis leadership is not only about knowing and doing; it is also about who we are as people.

But effective leaders connect deeply with their people, nowhere more than during a crisis. The essential need to take care of one’s people during a crisis is one of the cornerstones of the book. This includes concrete steps from deescalation meetings to crisis care. People, with their fears, concerns, and immediate needs, are always at the center of crisis leadership. Bruce calls it “management with a heart,” and he takes the reader through some of the toughest moments in the life of a leader. But it is these moments that create legendary leaders or cut short a promising career.

In sum, Bruce Blythe’s book is a veritable encyclopedia of crisis leadership, rich in strategic insights, invaluable for any leader who wants to improve his or her organization’s crisis management capabilities.

Daniel Diermeier
IBM Distinguished Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practice,
Director of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship,
Kellogg School of Management,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, Illinois, USA
March 14, 2014