Simulating a crisis to prepare your team for real incidents

Published by Karla Gahan, Aisling O’Loughlin on

Our experts

  • Karla Gahan

    Karla Gahan

    Associate and Senior Consultant – Risk Advisory and Analytics

  • Aisling O’Loughlin

    Aisling O’Loughlin

    Consultant – Risk Advisory and Analytics

  • Testing your crisis response is just as important as planning it. The team at Klaxon, an incident communications specialist, did just that when Barnett Waddingham invited them to take part in their crisis simulation exercise using our Crisis Management Simulation Tool.

    The exercise put Klaxon into a specific scenario, closely resembling a real-life experience, to assess their response against a set of agreed objectives. These included how effective the team’s response strategies were, how they managed their reputation and communication strategies, how well their decision-making and actions were recorded during the incident, and the roles and responsibilities of the crisis team. Following some time to familiarise themselves with the crisis simulation software and an introduction from the Barnett Waddingham facilitators, Klaxon were then faced with the task of dealing with the simulated incident.

    An immersive crisis simulation experience

    The simulation was immersive, giving Klaxon a sense of just how stressful dealing with a critical incident could be.  It gave them an opportunity to practise how their team would respond in the ‘real world’ should a similar incident happen, right down to the evolving nature of the crisis. As new updates and announcements were given to them via ‘news’ bulletins, the team progressed through the exercise.

    "We really enjoyed participating in the crisis simulation exercise and feel very privileged to have been asked to take part."
    Crisis management team, Klaxon

    Managing multiple channels and departments

    Part of Klaxon’s incident response is to manage communications on different channels and platforms, including sending and receiving messages through other business area teams, such as HR, whilst also trying to resolve the incident at hand – which was no easy feat. Managing worst-case scenarios and speaking to the press, worried employees, and stakeholders, meant Klaxon could see just how quickly a situation can get out of hand without proper planning, training and appropriate communication channels.

    The whole simulation exercise played out over two days, whilst the exercise itself lasted around two hours. Due to the fast-paced nature of the exercise, the Klaxon team admittedly felt quite drained and overwhelmed by the end, but very much enjoyed the experience.

    In-depth post-simulation feedback

    After the exercise, Barnett Waddingham provided Klaxon a full debrief report, which went into detail on how their team responded and how it could improve their incident responses in the event of an emergency incident. Klaxon said they already feel far more prepared for a real-life incident just having done the exercise.

    If you think your team could benefit from this experience, please contact Karla Gahan or Aisling O’Loughlin, who will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can explore more about what our Crisis Management Simulation Tool offers and read our FAQs.

     

    More about our Crisis Simulation Tool

    Our Crisis Management Simulation Tool is a realistic, objective-based way to facilitate incident exercises with teams globally and, as needed, remotely.

    Find out more

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