It's a Social Media World

A Discussion on Digital Media & Communication Trends

‘Learning to Lose the Least’ – Important, But Difficult Lesson for Organizations

For the next several blog posts I will be conducting a series on crisis communication. To kick off the series I want to talk about an uncomfortable concept for organizations to understand:“Learning to lose the least.” In some crisis situations there are no good answers. Today’s speech by Obama about jobs is a great example. The lead story on Yahoo News is ‘More than Jobs at Stake for Obama Tonight.’ (to read the story click here) Sounds like a crisis of reputation to me. In my opinion, there is no way that Obama can win tonight. You probably already understand why, but just to reiterate:

  • 9.1% unemployment
  • unemployment claims climbing
  • the downgrade of the US credit rating
  • the spectacle created when we increased our debt limit
  • and all of the other economic woes our country has experienced in just the last year

Therefore, tonight is about Obama learning to lose the least.

Just like the White House, other organizations need to understand that sometimes they have to take responsibility for actions or problems with their plans and products even if it is not a direct result of something they did or didn’t do. Cyanide laced Tylenol comes to mind. So in the end, sometimes the best strategy is to devise a plan where you apologize, listen to your stakeholders, use their comments to create a dialogue and ultimately turn a potentially large loss into a smaller ouch.

What are ways your organizations have had to ‘learn to lose the least?’

Crisis Communication is a weekly series that will be conducted through November. Thanks for reading!

4 comments on “‘Learning to Lose the Least’ – Important, But Difficult Lesson for Organizations

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  2. Kenyon Stanley
    September 17, 2011

    I agree KBC. There was no way for Obama to win following his speech. I think you hit the nail on the head when you state that he is trying to lose the least. In this case, Obama is trying to push through a jobs initiative (The American Jobs Act) by pressuring opponents to back the bill less the right receive the negative spotlight by failing to act on the only proposed solution on the table. So for Obama, if the repubs back his jobs bill, he comes out looking strong and if they don’t the right is accused of not doing anything to correct the jobs crisis. Great insights KBC.

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This entry was posted on September 8, 2011 by in Uncategorized.
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