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Preventing Crises at Your University

The Playbook for Protecting Your Institution's Reputation

Simon R. Barker

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A new playbook for effective crisis management in higher education.

Unlike other industries, in higher education an institution's most important asset is its reputation. Yet as fundamental as it is, many leaders continue to view managing reputation as dishonest and counterproductive, a suspect process that undermines the very idea of reputation as an organic outcome of reality. When leadership credibility is on the line, though, and an institution's reputation is facing potentially irreparable damage, the concept of reputational risk moves from being nebulous to all too tangible.

In Preventing…

A new playbook for effective crisis management in higher education.

Unlike other industries, in higher education an institution's most important asset is its reputation. Yet as fundamental as it is, many leaders continue to view managing reputation as dishonest and counterproductive, a suspect process that undermines the very idea of reputation as an organic outcome of reality. When leadership credibility is on the line, though, and an institution's reputation is facing potentially irreparable damage, the concept of reputational risk moves from being nebulous to all too tangible.

In Preventing Crises at Your University, Simon Barker demonstrates how critical it is for colleges and universities to align strategy and values with decision-making during times of crisis. Arguing that leaders must stop considering the discussion of reputational risk as unseemly, he demonstrates that this discussion is in fact a strategic imperative for every leader. Significant reputational damage, Barker asserts, is not the inevitable outcome of a crisis but of a poor response. Defining a new crisis leadership playbook to deal with self-inflicted crises, he also

• explains what typically goes wrong in a crisis;
• describes how to prevent crises from escalating;
• demonstrates how a stakeholder-centric model of communications can help mitigate reputational damage; and
• introduces a number of original concepts, including a Reputational Risk Management Framework, a Reputational Risk Maturity Model, and a Culture and Capability matrix.

Moving beyond the theoretical by presenting case studies of real crises involving sexual assault, freedom of speech, student protests, faculty misconduct, and a broad range of financial, social, and ethical issues, the book highlights and underscore key concepts around effective management of reputational risk. Ultimately, Preventing Crises at Your University serves as a wake-up call for all higher education leaders and board members.

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Preventing Crises at Your University

Simon R. Barker

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Reviews

Reviews

Barker lays out how colleges can anticipate and avoid negative effects on their reputation from potential adverse events and trends. He also explains how they can minimize the occurrence of crises and effectively manage through those which do occur in ways that mitigate harm to the institution's reputation. Drawing on the author's deep experience with risk, this book is full of very good insights and advice on managing crises.

Barker illuminates the distinct nature of organizational reputation and its strategic value, urging colleges and universities to use a proactive, systematic, and values-aligned approach to identifying and managing risks. He makes the case for elevating shared responsibility for mitigating risk to reputation within the organization and creating clear structures for doing so. Barker also offers abundant practical guidance on establishing and running effective crisis management teams.

A readable and meaningful cookbook for integrating issues, emergency, and crisis planning for departments and roles across institutions of higher learning. An essential reference for sharing with executive leadership and with college and university board members, this book describes clearly the essential steps to prepare an organization for the worst—incident, emergency, or crisis.

Reputational risk is frequently at the top of an institution's risk register. With the introduction of new reputational risk frameworks and clarity around the frequently confused concepts of crisis management, emergency management, and issues management, Barker's book provides clear insight into how to assess, mitigate, and manage this most important but nebulous of risks.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5
x
8
Pages
192
ISBN
9781421442679
Illustration Description
13 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction. Mind the Gap: Why Reputational Risk Matters
Chapter 1. A Reputational Risk Framework
Chapter 2: Nine Things That Go Wrong in Crises
Chapter 3: Effective Crisis Management I: Getting

Preface
Introduction. Mind the Gap: Why Reputational Risk Matters
Chapter 1. A Reputational Risk Framework
Chapter 2: Nine Things That Go Wrong in Crises
Chapter 3: Effective Crisis Management I: Getting Ahead of a Crisis
Chapter 4: Effective Crisis Management II: Defining Roles and Responsibilities
Chapter 5: Effective Crisis Management III: From Chaos to Managed Process
Chapter 6: Effective Crisis Management IV: Crisis Communications
Chapter 7: Redefining Issues Management
Chapter 8: The Role of Leadership in Crisis
Chapter 9: Frameworks and Models to Manage Reputational Risk
Index

Author Bio
Simon R. Barker
Featured Contributor

Simon R. Barker

Simon Barker is the managing partner of Blue Moon Consultant Group, a crisis management consultant firm that specializes in higher education.