12 May 2022

Procedures and systems in place help to manage crises without wasting valuable resources. Dr. Jennet Arshimova, risk management expert and Managing Director at NEW HSE-NEBOSH and OSH Services discussed the best approaches to effective and efficient crisis management. 

Risk Assessment

First of all, we need to differentiate between crisis management and risk management. Risk assessment belongs to both. Risk management is proactive and preventive. It requires planning, prevention, and prevention. However, when most of the risks occurred like in the situation of the current war we need crisis management.  

Crisis Structure

Each crisis has three stages. Pre-crisis stage focuses on preparation for critical processes and reinforcing organizations, processes, etc. 

We are living through the second stage of the actual war. Under the circumstances, our institutions' crisis management needs to be underpinned by flexibility. We need to get stronger, understand what we can rely on, and focus on the future. Our next step is contemplating the post-crisis activities. 


First of all, we need to concentrate on the prevention and minimization of human life losses and on keeping people healthy and well. Secondly, we need to allocate effectively the available limited resources. We have to be very careful with our finances and manage our expenses to meet our priorities. And thirdly, we need to rank our risks in terms of impact and probability. 

How to Plan in Crisis

Political, economic, and social uncertainty are indispensable to any crisis management plan. Coordination of multi-complex processes has never been easy. During the war, managing multiple layers of complex processes in labor safety, finance, risk management, and running businesses is a true challenge. When planning we are to pay special attention to various drivers at different layers. 

Crisis as an Opportunity

We can rely on newly opened opportunities under new circumstances. I’d recommend you the book A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit. In this book, different critical situations, such as wars or natural disasters are reviewed. In those critical situations, people are growing stronger, supporting each other more. As a result, organizations are reinforcing. 

Crisis Toolbox

We apply different tools and processes in each state of a crisis. Pre-crisis stage calls for training and planning. Costs reduction is important for the crisis stage. Post-crisis is the time for revival, enhancement and designing preventive measures for the future crisis. Learning lessons from the crisis. We need to manage risks at all three stages. 


We often forget about uncertainty and its implications. There are instruments to manage uncertainty. Surprisingly enough, uncertainty is often rich in opportunities. 

Scientific Approach and Communication

Crises fall into several categories. We need to classify warfare. Depending on our classification, we will manage our wartime and postwar activities. Crises communications are crucial. We need to tailor our communications to our audiences whether they are boards of directors, clients, employees, communities, etc. Although the lines between families, communities, work, and nation are blurring nowadays. I recommend works by Timothy Crooms on crisis communications. Crisis communications define how well we can fare. To make the most of the communication, we need to learn about the crisis taxonomy, six stages of crisis management, and eight strategies of crisis communications. Winning wide support from the military, artistic community, business, and the state through social media is a good example of those strategies' efficiency. 

Crisis Drivers

There are two main drivers of any crisis. Firstly, the severity of the situation. We also need to understand which type of crisis caused it. Secondly, the history. It reflects how well an organization or a business coped with the situation. History demonstrates the experience of organizations, their reputations, strengths, and weaknesses. For example, our COVID experience is shaping our risk management approaches. 

Psychosocial Risks

Psychosocial risks are increasing in crisis because of complexity. We should be aware of the humanitarian crisis and account for it when making our recovery and all the risk management plans. Mental health is a key factor in the psychosocial risks. Only 20% of the European businesses are dealing with those risks. We used to speak about the psychosocial risks as negative results of unfavorable organizational conditions. In my opinion, nowadays, we need to reconsider our approaches. In particular, we need to look at those risks as something typical for the organizations and wider context.

 For more information on crisis management visit the record.