Let’s go back to the example we mentioned at the very beginning, the one where the nonprofit was in trouble because a national oversight agency declined to provide a necessary endorsement.
In this case, we weren’t able to do anything in advance because the nonprofit didn’t seek our help until the problem was in front of it. When it did happen, they were tempted to keep the knowledge to themselves.
Our advice was the opposite. We told them that secrecy could undermine their credibility and that, eventually, the bad news would come out and people would be upset that they didn’t know about it sooner.
The organization took our advice and chose to be completely transparent, both with its own internal audiences and the news media. What happened? The group’s constituents rallied to its side and eventually, regulators provided the endorsement. And the business remained open and thriving.
Is every case going to be as clean and tidy as this? Absolutely not. Even in this example, there were peaks and valleys that don’t get their due in this shortened retelling. But by establishing a process and doing as much preparation as possible, companies can lower their risk, keep their important audiences informed and get back to the business they want to do sooner than they otherwise might.