Deloitte Survey: “Vulnerability gap threatens companies’ preparedness for crisis management”

Less than half of today’s Board members state that their organisations have both the capabilities and processes in place to effectively handle a crisis. That’s according to the results of a survey by Deloitte, the business advisory firm.

The study of 317 non-executive global Board members finds that they have confidence in their organisations’ ability to deal with crisis situations, but are somewhat less confident that they’re fully prepared for them.

“Most businesses will face a crisis at some point,” stated Rick Cudworth, risk advisory partner at Deloitte. “In my experience, most Boards now recognise that it’s a matter of ‘When’, not ‘If’. This has been a big change in recent years. Board members should hold frequent discussions with management to ensure a sound and common understanding of what preparations have been made to deal with a crisis. This ought to include regular rehearsals for both executive and Board members.”

The ‘Vulnerability Gap’

Additional findings in the Deloitte survey include the following:

*Disparity between feeling ready versus being ready: More than three-quarters of Board members believe their companies would respond effectively if a crisis struck tomorrow. However, less than half of those surveyed feel their companies engage in monitoring or internal communications designed to detect trouble.

*Damage to corporate reputation ranked highest as a vulnerability, followed by cyber crime: Supply chain issues, regulatory action and natural disasters were also listed as vulnerabilities.

*The ‘Vulnerability Gap’: When asked about specific crisis areas, Board members were more likely to acknowledge their vulnerability than they were to state that they had a plan in place to address the issue.

*Board members are not engaging with management: Fewer than half say they’ve engaged with management to understand what has been done to support crisis preparedness procedures and plans.

“It’s clear that crisis awareness, preparation and resilience needs to be a more prominent topic in the Boardroom,” concluded Cudworth.

“While the approach taken may differ between organisations, our research finds that fewer than a third of crisis-hit respondents recovered in less than a year. No Board should underestimate the challenge that crises bring, not to mention their potential longevity.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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