When crisis hits, it is time for CEOs to draw on their core values and to demonstrate the way forward.
Corporate reputation – or at worse, the existence of your whole enterprise – may be at stake. Shareholders, employees and the general public will want answers and will need to be reassured that everything in your power is being done to resolve the situation.
The speed of social media, tweeting and mobile phones with camera and video capability will impact on the development of a crisis, which can take place at lightning speed.
Protecting your physical and virtual capital is something that you, like the military, do day in and day out. The consequences of failure, however, can be catastrophic, and there are many threats and natural hazards that can be the agents of darker change. Countering these in a cost effective manner demands new thinking, new cultures and new ideas.
At In Command, we have experts in the critical issues that could threaten your organisation – from cyber crime to adverse media reporting. We work with boards and top management to increase resilience from a range of attacks that could irrevocably damage or destroy your business.
Countering attack requires you to think about the balance between passive defence and active defence, physical structures and behaviours developed by training and education.
Countering Cyber Crime
The potential impact of a cyber attack, including the impact on reputation, cannot be underestimated. So vulnerable are corporates and large SMEs that the UK Government is preparing a communications campaign to provide boards and top management with advice on how to address the threats facing business.
A cyber attack could originate from almost anywhere – organised crime, deliberate or accidental damage by employees, competitors who wish to gain competitive advantage, computer hackers or hacker activists – and could rapidly destroy aspects of your business.
Thus boards need to have a firm grasp on the cyber risks facing their organisations and their supply chains. The cyber domain is no longer the sole responsibility of the IT department and investment alone cannot prevent cyber attacks. Boards, with the assistance of the audit or risk committee, should provide ultimate oversight of strategic and operational cyber risks, as they do other key risks.
The challenge is wide ranging and includes the impact of negativity on brand values through censure and embarrassment, a reduction in revenue and service levels, direct fraud, sabotage and cyber espionage.
Our cyber experts have worked with the UK Cabinet Office and the UK Government Defence Select Committee on cyber issues, as well as a range of global businesses. They will work with you to assess your company’s current situation and any areas of weakness.
Working with our experts will assist you in delivering a plan commensurate with any military system. In Command’s experts can also assist with implementation of your plans in order to ensure optimum protection of your company and its assets.
Risk and Complexity
At In Command we understand the true nature of risk and complexity and can advise on the most appropriate ways to mitigate it in any given situation.
Our business experts with backgrounds in international banking are supported by military leaders skilled in risk management in the most testing of environments.
The differences between uncertainty and risk are explored, as well as the variance between complication and complexity. In the markets, the machinery is fairly simple – buy or sell, borrow or lend, now or later – but the outcomes are complex due to unpredictability and uncertainty.
This is the world of Complex Adaptive Systems with network theory drawing on ideas from physics and biology. Complexity Science is developing new ways of thinking about networks and the nature of the agents operating in them. Our analysis can help establish their impact by searching out connections that may have been hidden.
There is a growth in Behavioural Finance as a way viewing irrationality and motives in markets. Yet to truly understand markets, In Command helps you uncover the important element of complexity within networks.
The views of our financial expert and the military are analysed to arrive at conclusions with your team, providing your company with unique insights into the way that you and your colleagues may take decisions and ways that this can be done better.
Mitigating Bribery, Corruption and Fraud
Ethical business and protecting priceless reputational assets is at the heart of top management.
Our legal advisor is a former Minister of Justice who was responsible for seeing The Bribery Act 2010 through Parliament. We employ the skills of a number of military and international business experts to help you to assess this important piece of legislation. They will assist you in the introduction of monitoring activities and purchasing authorisation processes within sensitive areas.
Ethical flash-points in all their guises need to form the foundation of robust procedures issued from the core of the business. We give this area particular emphasis.
It is important that all staff understand the impact of The Bribery Act and how to protect themselves and the company from risk.
Continued monitoring activities and authorised spending in sensitive areas are essential in order to flourish in this environment.
Impact of Social Media on Corporate Reputation
Social media comes with risks and rewards. Both should be managed with extreme care and expertise.
No longer can the IT department, HR or Marketing Communications be held totally responsible for the strategic control of the powerful online devices of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or You Tube.
These channels and their users can pose a major threat to the shareholder value of a business, destroy brands and have the power to annihilate corporate reputation in a flash. In addition, there are legislative issues in some countries surrounding the dissemination of key corporate information across these channels.
It is a strategic issue that merits the full attention of CEOs and board directors.
The military are masters of ‘command and control’. We introduce you to this approach which will define boundaries and prioritise necessary restrictions. These methods have to be balanced by freedom of positive creativity to raise brand awareness, promote sales, spread corporate news and enhance customer and stakeholder communications.
In Command’s social media gurus work with the military and your leaders to help them fully understand social media channels in order to counter negative trends and capture the benefits.
Crisis Communications and Disaster Recovery
Corporate reputation could represent 70% of the value of your business. Potential threats to every aspect of business must be identified and a dynamic risk assessment register regularly updated.
Detailed plans and an escalation procedure for all levels of the crisis team need to be in place – and regularly re-assessed. Thorough preparation for any crisis is essential for rapid reaction.
Pre-selection of the experts and leaders who will manage and clearly communicate the truthful appraisal of a crisis, and actions required, will make the difference between success and failure. Trust must be established.
Our highly experienced military experts from the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Airforce operate at all levels of your organisation to help each and every one of your people understand their roles and responsibilities. These areas encompass cross cultural operations, information gathering, developing risk radars, continuity planning, debriefing, review and feedback, and refinement and improvement.
Global Media Management
Media provides a prime opportunity to relay key messages to selected audiences. Business leaders must not flout this prime chance to explain an issue of concern. When invaluable assets such as corporate and brand reputations are at stake, engagement and communications from board level are essential.
If leaders are confident, know their subject well, are in control of the key messages and are well prepared, they will do well. Yet those that do not explain the crisis in simple, straightforward terms – or shy away from transparency and fail to offer solutions – will be at the mercy of a potentially unforgiving global audience.
Twice daily news reports from the ‘front-line’ to hundreds of the world’s journalists have given our military leaders the skills and expertise to deal with critical questioning, quick thinking and appropriate rhetoric in extreme conditions whilst facing a network of global news feeds and instant transmissions.
Attitudes, facial expressions and body language of spokespeople are key factors in forming a favourable impression to a sceptical audience. In Command’s experienced TV and radio professionals provide another dimension to presentation skills and offer analysis of verbal and non-verbal impact to fine tune preparation.
We need to be able to defend our national infrastructure, to defend our industries and to make sure that our conventional defence capabilities are not vulnerable to cyber attack from outside.
Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary, The Times