The crisis, a universal phenomenon

Because a crisis spares no-one and knows no borders.

New Caledonia is in itself a small market with few media and few stakeholders, … an island on the fringes of the world, at first sight easy to manage, yet the risk of crisis is very real.

No organisation, public or private, is immune to a crisis!

Des exemples ici et ailleurs

Some examples from around the world


Following the shipwreck of the Erika off the coast of Brittany, the image of the Total group was suddenly and lastingly damaged. 2 years after the incident the company was at the bottom of the image barometer of French enterprises.

sociÉtÉ le froid

A video posted on Facebook reveals sales practices set up by the company to organise the black market for alcohol in the country (a video since seen more than 120,000 times)


The airline company lost 10% of its value on the stock market after some information was clumsily taken up by a financial analyst without any verification then announced by a national press agency


The case of the cruise ship Costa Concordia running aground on the coast of Italy, with 32 victims, was especially marked by errors linked to successive versions relating to the causes of the accident, the behaviour of the captain and witness statements from passengers contradicting the official version.

Comment reconnaitre une crise ?

Firstly, what is a crisis and how to recognise it ?



The most serious crisis

Very existence of the enterprise brought into question

Doping on the Tour de France

Serious crisis

Reputation (image, legitimacy) brought into question

Findus(Horse meat), Société Générale Bank (Kerviel)


Stakeholder crisis, without direct responsibility in the enterprise

Death of Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple

Difficult situation

Situation that puts an organization under stress

Departure of a key person, persistent rumours


An internal conflict, a malfunction, the error of an employee or an accident do not automatically become crises, it’s sometimes simply the incapacity of the organisation to deal with a difficult situation which aggravates the problem and turns it into a “crisis situation”.

A crisis generates 3 major phenomena 

  • Internal/external overburdening that overwhelms the ability to communicate
  • A malfunction in the classic system
  • A potential challenge to the company, to people, to the company’s

Une crise, un événement à fort impact

A crisis ? A dramatic event with a strong impact

A crisis marks the history of an enterprise. It becomes an historic milestone from which everyone is able to situate himself at that point time and however the event was managed, it becomes part of the culture of the enterprise.

This implies that a crisis has to be managed both internally as well as externally. It is the paramount indicator of good crisis management.

The groups a company addresses during a crisis will remember the reaction of the company towards them, more than the event itself.

How to assess the risks for your company ?

There is a confirmed theory throughout the world relating to risk occurrence. Those companies the least prepared are always those that suffer the most damage, leading sometimes to the actual disappearance of the enterprise.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Warren Buffett

simulate to evaluate

All companies seek to improve their performance, from management level through to their reputation via. their operations. A crisis is a formidable indicative factor of the solidity of your organisation.

Crise = opportunité

Crisis = opportunity

Crisis = opportunity

In Chinese, two ideograms stand for “crisis”, these are “danger” and “opportunity”.

In order for a crisis to rhyme with opportunity, real time crisis simulation is an extremely efficient diagnostic exercise.

By provoking the crisis, the debriefing and the development programme yourself, you are able to test the teams and the organisation, reinforcing collective feeling and efficiency if it is well managed.

A crisis is not a fatality: the more an organisation is prepared the less the need to activate crisis management. Many situations classified as “crises” are in fact difficult situations which are easily dealt with by a well run company.

Putting into place crisis management is costly and risky. The preparation of a crisis plan and the implementation of this plan for the organisation automatically increases the solidity of the enterprise.

Les conseils clés

Key advices