Rag on Tony Hayward of BP if you like, but his crisis management shut down the oil leak, and established a $20 billion restoration and victim compensation fund was established to be independently administered and prepay claims.
While some in the media are getting around to discussing the practice of letting anonymous comments continue to appear in news outlet web page responses, a wonderful article in The Weekend WSJ, “The Feuding Fathers,” reminds us that anonymous sources go back to well before the founding of our Republic and have always been an important part of the national discussion.
If you’re wondering what might by happening inside the minds of BP employees right now, let me give you an insight by quoting an April 18, 1989 memo from then Exxon Chairman Lawrence G. Rawl to all employees.
Lessons from ongoing crisis management and catastrophe mistakes.
The petroleum industry has little to fear from Congress or for its reputation. Like the bankers, insurance industry, real estate, Wall Street, the credit card industry, and even the auto industry, there is the Headline Phase, the Hearings Phase, and now the Independent Panel Phase. It’s the usual stuff, when the answers are hard.
We are starting to hear talk of boycotts and other punitive measures against BP. This attitude is total goofiness. The company is putting its money and energy where its mouth is to resolve the situation…so now we should punish them by driving by their gas stations? This is mindless meanness.
One of the most difficult challenges leaders and their communicators face is what to do, what to say, how to behave, and what decisions to make when someone is killed. This problem does arise, all too frequently. Here are some useful guidelines for both operators and communicators.
Key takeaways from Paul Johnson’s book, Churchill.
Among the most frequent questions I’m asked by both professionals in our field and those they advise (CEOs and other operating officials) is, “Can you tell me what, in your experience, are the greatest crisis preventers?”
The latest Toyota ad, “Our Pledge to You,” is out and does show signs that the company is making progress in understanding what it has to do to be forgiven. But, the approach is still too austere and fails to go far enough to make the customer-focused commitment that’s needed.