Memphis Daily News Chandler Reports Nashville Ledger
» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 41 | NO. 38 | Friday, September 22, 2017

Corporate disaster aid: How and when to employ

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Disasters are chaotic and complex. Just a few minutes of howling wind or shaking earth can leave years of cleaning up, rebuilding and coping with a new reality.

Naturally, people want to help when they witness significant duress, like we’ve seen recently with hurricanes Harvey and Irma and countless times globally. Some of the greatest moments I’ve witnessed in business have come in the aftermath of disasters.

But, those moments didn’t happen by chance. Much forethought created them.

In business, disasters are the antithesis of how we operate our companies. Order and planning create the stability needed to keep our doors open and offer reliability to our customers and employees.

Despite the disorder of disasters, the same discipline we use to run effective companies can be applied to disaster giving.

If your company is considering what role is right for you to assist when disaster strikes, consider these steps for effective corporate aid.

Align

Reflect on your core competencies. Do you supply equipment that is critical in the debris-removal stage? Do you have financial-planning experts who could lend a hand when small businesses are trying to reopen?

Do you supply schools, stores, arenas and other venues – and therefore have a mission-critical interest in their timely return? Do you have engineers who can assist in mitigation planning for the future?

Don’t shy away from aligning your desire to help with your core business. Self-interest isn’t in conflict with doing good; in fact, it’s sustainable over time.

Plan

In crisis management, if you haven’t taken the time to craft a response plan before the disaster happens, you’re too late. Whether your preparation is to handle an operational crisis or to provide disaster assistance, the purpose is still the same.

Your focus is on building in advance your relationships with key people, creating common understanding about general expectations for the response, defining the plan’s activation triggers and running a practice scenario (tip: tabletop exercises can be a manageable way to plan ahead).

For disasters, this involves finding the nonprofit organizations that best align with your competencies and your brand and forging strategic partnerships with them.

Do No Harm

Resist the urge to self-deploy a group of volunteers or transport to the disaster zone an unplanned – or worse, inappropriate – collection of donated items. This becomes another small disaster for the on-the-ground workers who have to divert attention away from their mission to manage your well-intended, but unexpected contribution.

Communicate

Share your news with your employees, board, business partners and others. Of course, the exact tone of this communication is important – this isn’t the time for bragging, but sharing your support for a nonprofit disaster partner should be received as a welcomed update.

Catherine (Kitty) Taylor, vice president of innovation at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0