A risky business

2010 so far has been punctuated by two huge and prominent events of nature that effectively brought parts of our society to a standstill.

The severe snows that turned Britain white plunged our infrastructure into chaos.  Major supermarket supply chains fell apart, roads, trains and planes ground to a halt and mostly we spent our time worrying about salt.

And now a distant volcano has bestowed a cloud of despondent doom and resulted in hundreds and thousands of people being stranded in abject misery let alone counting the cost to business and the supply chain.

The problem to me is we just can’t cope with such events.  We appear to be a society blighted by inaction:  diplomacy, risk aversion, bureaucracy, litigious considerations, lack of pace and urgency all seem to combine resulting in stasis.  Both of these events showed no sign of any crisis management and only days after they unfolded did activity start to happen.  The lack of information, communication and leadership was woeful.

I for one feel worried about what these events have taught us and how modern society seems to be perched on a precarious ledge teetering on the brink of uncertainty and inability to act.  In business, many of us have had to learn about crisis management and I spend my days helping my clients help themselves in promoting and, importantly, protecting their reputation.  But, I am left in no doubt that the signs are there that we need to build the capability and capacity to deal with such huge natural occurrences that impact our rather not so natural existence on this earth.  What we need most is Government to provide the credibility and leadership so we can all be reassured.

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