Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Crisis Management at an Unprecedented Level

I read with horror recently of the terrorist attack that took place at the Hotel Inter-Continental Kabul, in Afghanistan, that ended with a NATO rocket attack on the last of the terrorists who were making their final stand on the roof of the hotel.

11 civilians were killed in the attack, excluding the terrorists, and needless to say, the hotel has sustained significant damage from the initial attack and the battle that followed.

While I was horrified for a number of obvious reasons, I could not help but wonder what it would be like to be the hotel general manager in this circumstance.  What must he or she have been through in the last 24 hours and what were they facing now, in the aftermath of this crisis?

Like many hotel general managers that have been in this business for any length of time, I have seen my share of crisis situations over the years; political protests, labour disputes, bomb scares, floods, fires, deaths, and terrorist threats, but it all pales in comparison to what this general manager is experiencing.

And having prepared crisis management plans, and as I said, having had to execute those plans at various times in my career, I wondered what the crisis management plan might look like at the Hotel Inter-Continental Kabul.  Did they in fact have a plan for an event of this scope and magnitude?  I hate to say it, but it is highly likely that they did, given their location and the state of unrest in Kabul and much of Afghanistan.

Still, I cannot really think that anything would adequately prepare you for this.  Who gets up in the morning and goes to work expecting that their hotel, and their guests, will be attacked by terrorists later that same day, and, that the fighting will only be stopped when a series of rockets are launched at your hotel rooftop?

Maybe, if nothing else, it reiterates the importance of always having an up to date, relevant crisis management plan, and ensuring that everyone knows their role in the event of a crisis – whatever that crisis may be. 

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1 comment:

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