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And the winner is… the one who learns from the past

There won’t be an Oscar for crisis preparedness handed out at the Academy Awards this weekend (trust us, we have checked).

But ahead of the ceremony this weekend, we would like to acknowledge the sensible work the Academy has done in responding to last year’s drama, in which nominee Will Smith stormed onto the stage and slapped host Chris Rock.

All too often, organisations come through a crisis, and think they can now breathe a sigh of relief. It’s natural to want to forget about a difficult incident, but it’s downright negligent if you assume that by the time it happens again, you’ll be in a different job and it’ll be someone else’s problem, and therefore don’t seek to learn the lessons from it.

Last month, the BBC reported that the Academy had put in place a crisis team to respond quickly to anything that arises during this year’s ceremony. This is the sort of news that makes one wonder why they didn’t have such a team in place previously – but that’s by the by, at least they have one now. And not only have they done a good job in creating one, they’ve done a good job in communicating it, demonstrating to stakeholders that they have learnt lessons and evolved.

As we’ve previously written, organisations with a strong track record are often the most vulnerable when it comes to facing a crisis, because they don’t have the experience of what it is like to live through it. If you’ve been through a crisis, then it’s important to use that experience as an asset.

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