Unit 3.2: Crisis Management
Team and Leadership

Form a Crisis Management Team

Managing a crisis requires a long list of skills including analytical thinking, competence, knowledge background, managerial capability etc. It is usual, the executive management to lead the response to a crisis as they usually have:

•A deep understanding of the organization and its context
•Maturity in management
•Decision making capability and action execution authorization

Managers from major organizational departments lead the tactical response, planning or logistics.

Together, executive management and managers form a Team that has the authority and maturity to make decisions under difficult circumstances and lead the organization to successfully respond to a crisis and recover business as usual. This is the Crisis Management Team.

A typical Structure of a Crisis Management Team consists of the below and their deputies:

•Crisis Management Team Leader (usually the CEO)

•Crisis Coordinator

•Crisis Management Team Members / Functional representatives

•Experts and Subject matter Experts (depending on the crisis context)

•Secretarial and administrational staff

External consulting and experts could be used to high-pressure situations, to provide with the information and advise required to make sound decisions.

Crisis Management Team structure may vary depending on the organization complexity, size, extend etc.

The main responsibilities of the key CMT members are listed below.

In all cases ensure clarity of responsibilities for gathering information and for initiating, coordinating and overseeing crisis responses activities and outcome.

The individual areas that need to be covered on the Crisis Management Team are listed below, with what each person typically does. They all act as field experts and CMT advisors in relation to their competence and areas of responsibility.

“When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters –
one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.”
– John F. Kennedy, 35th President of United States

Summary and Takeaways

The Crisis Management Team is formed by the executive management and managers from major organizational departments.

The CMT has the authority and maturity to make decisions under difficult circumstances and lead the organization to successfully respond to a crisis and recover to business as usual.

The roles and responsibilities of team members should be clear and cover the full range of activities,  from gathering information to coordinating and managing crisis responses.


Check your understanding

Think about each of the following questions. If you are not sure of the answer, check what you have read to find the information you need before going on to the next question.

1 What the composition of the Crisis Management Team should be?

2 How you determine management responsibilities?

3 Why is it customary for management to lead the crisis response?

«Control public perception of how you handle a crisis, or media will do it for you»