You think you have a crisis at work? How would you like to have been a new employee at Arthur Andersen when the proverbial stuff hit the fan?
Suzanne Drake started at Andersen working on marketing and communications 1 week before the firm was indicted.
Arthur Andersen agreed to surrender its licenses and its right to practice before the SEC in 2002, effectively ending the company's operations. Suzanne Drake lived, and learned, through that.
As she said, "In such a short time, I gained an education I couldn't have purchased at any university in the world." Now many business schools teach the Andersen case study but Suzanne lived it.
She has advised countless other businesses how to handle the inevitable crises. One key piece of advice is that the media is not a company's only "public." She stresses that while swift and effective dealing with the media can certainly make the situation better, it is essential to have a plan for and take care of your other "public" including staff, clients, shareholders and vendors.
With an impending crisis, such as a looming plant closing, Drake advises spending extra care with employees that may potentially make the situation worse.
As someone who has been through a worst-case scenario, Drake stresses that when a crisis happens you should not rely on yourself. You need to call in a third party objective professional to advise you.
You probably don't have to face crises like indictments, Enron and WorldCom but that doesn't make your company's problems any less important to you. Listen and learn from someone who has been there. February 16, 2008
Listen to this interview
Suzanne Drake speaking to a John Carroll business audience
Bruce Hennes and Suzanne Drake
- Crisis Management Experts