Occasionally, business organizations do not know how to process the incidents that are occurring in their daily operations. Many times, the incidents do not become the knowledge of the decision makers, they are lost at the lowest levels. Therefore, it is essential that organizations have early warning mechanisms that allow daily incidents do not result in a crisis.
SeaWorld , for example, it did not have a system through which the incidents and observations that the coaches of the animals that gave shows in their amusement parks would notice or witness the behavior of the animals were reported or processed. Lacking these mechanisms, the violent behavior of an orca was never attended and continued giving shows to the public, until, in one of them, he fatally attacked his coach, in the sight of entire families.
As a result of this unfortunate incident, groups protecting animal rights set out to investigate the causes of the attack and, in 2013, premiered the documentary Blackfish , whose purpose was to publicize the mistreatment that the company SeaWorld He gave the animals that participated in his shows. The documentary sparked public discontent in general against SeaWorld , cataloging it as an inhumane and irresponsible company. The social and news networks were filled with criticism SeaWorld , several celebrities denounced the company on Twitter, important sponsors withdrew their support and reduced the attendance to their parks.
Six months after the premiere of the documentary, the actions of SeaWorld They had fallen more than 60%. Worse, the decisions taken by SeaWorld to try to contain the crisis and get out of the negative spiral, they only seem to have worsened their image:
- First, SeaWorld discredited the documentary.
- After,SeaWorld started a campaign on social networks with the hashtag # AskSeaWorld so that the public could clarify their doubts about the treatment they gave to the animals. However, people used the campaign to express their dissatisfaction with the company.
- Finally, this crisis prompted US lawmakers to ban the raising of killer whales in captivity and the interaction of human trainers with them.The latter was the main tourist attraction of the parks of
These are examples of how a crisis caused by political risks multiplies rapidly. That’s why it’s important mitigate a crisis, instead of react to her What is the difference?
‘Reacting’ means acting as a crisis unfolds, which makes it more complicated to contain it. ‘Mitigate’ means having a system and a network of strategic relationships to deal with the multiplier effect of political risks.For SeaWorld This implied:
- Cultivate your relationship with groups of animal rights activists, legislators, and political leaders who were previously involved in the evaluation of the conditions in which the animals that gave shows lived.
- To have implemented a system through which the coaches could have informed the decision-makers about violent behaviors of the animals and have given the workers confidence enough not to keep this information.
Thus, the importance of encouraging the communication of risks at all levels and throughout the structure of an organization is highlighted. It is necessary to encourage among the members of the companies that they communicate the risks they detect, even when they come in the form of bad news for the decision makers.
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