17 Feb 2018

Crisis Management

When I first went to the grad school, internship back then was in fashion and during which one was also tasked to protect his or her own reputation.   But, as an everyday intern at the prestigious PaineWebber’s headquarters in the Windy City, the first and foremost that I could see coming my way was a crisis soon to engulf me.  While the word crisis’ sends shivers to many and could lead to the downfall of a whole regime, it comes in many shapes & forms ranging from a technological, military, media, midlife etc. to a fax ribbon’ and cup’ crisis.  Here, an intern with a foresight for personal security in Corporate America, I am referring to the latter crisis. The ‘cup’ crisis at Paine Webber simply meant that there were pots brewing coffee at every corner of the plush 32nd floor but no Styrofoam cups to pour some. This was a crisis given the frigid temperatures that prevailed and my early am walk to the office.  The VP that I was to assist & learn had a heart and would often formally offer coffee pointing towards the cup and asking me if he should get one for me…. that’s how difficult it was to find a cup have some poured in.  This was my early and close encounter with crisis and in the language of the Chinese (the word crisis is composed of two characters: one represents the danger and the other opportunity) so to say the dangers & opportunities of the cup crisis.  While I do not want to talk what a fax ribbon crisis meant, I do however, would like to state that a crisis could start out simply as a threat and would go on but being able to identify risk, assess the situation and respond appropriately is important.  Having a clear and effective program and plan for an event is critical not only to your survival, but critical to the profitability and possibly the survival of the company.