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“The first time you meet a CEO shouldn’t be in a time of crisis”

Unhappy days for RIM

The headline above is a great quote. It’s taken from this Wall Street Journal blog about Research In Motion’s CEO apologising, perhaps too late, to BlackBerry customers about the recent outage.

There’s a lesson here in crisis management for your company, two in fact:

1) Do it better than RIM, and have senior people saying they take the issue seriously, quickly.

As Eric Dezenhall puts it in the post above: “What so many crises comes down to are two questions: Am I going to be OK and what are you doing about it”. As a BlackBerry customer, I didn’t hear a word from the company during their crisis. That’s not good.

2) Make sure that a crisis, as the quote suggests, is not the first time anyone has seen your CEO.

Point two relates to my recent post about the current protest movements and CEOs being known for having a view on particular issues.

Ideally of course, those would be views about practical solutions to common issues important to society.

Here’s the RIM CEO apology on YouTube:

It’s also useful if the other popular video of your CEO is NOT like this one:

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