Checklists are a useful tool that any budding Reputation Manager can use. Not only do checklists enable a manager to anticipate and forestall events, they also help to initiate a course of action that needs to be taken.
In today’s turbulent society, a manager is judged by how well he or she responds to crises and critical issues and manages to keep the organisation’s reputation intact.
How quickly and adequately these issues and incidents are detected, analysed, and resolved spells success or disaster for an organization.
By developing a set of checklists to which items can be added; a Reputation Manager will over time have tabulated and recorded his or her approach to handling incidents that could affect the organisation’s reputation.
A manager’s use of a checklist can be likened to that of an airline pilot. I undertook but unfortunately due to work commitments; never completed the program to obtain my PPL – private pilot’s license. We were taught that before any aircraft leaves the ground, the pilot must conscientiously run through an exhaustive checklist of instruments, linkages, wheels, hydraulics, servomechanisms, etc checks. He needs to check every single unit, for failure of any single item could mean disaster, and remembering to check everything could mean a safe flight.
We used a document called an inspection flight pre-checklist. This document had to be completed every time before any take-off.
This checklist was not designed to tell me how to take off. It did not instruct me how to land. Its purpose was to ensure that the pilot has overlooked nothing in his prevention of accident or has been reminded of every procedure to achieve a successful flight. In Health & Safety Consulting we use similar emergency and other inspection checklists with great effect.
Every organisation will be faced with an opportunity to build, sustain or protect their organisation at some time or another. By developing checklists for every driver of reputation, categorizing them into opportunities, issues and potential crisis response strategies, the Reputation Manager will have developed a very valuable database that can be used to build intellectual capital in the organisation.
PS. There is a danger inherent in checklists. If it is not on the list we do not pay attention to it – that can be dangerous. I use Trello – the visual task management application for my checklists. I revisit them often.