Where did it come from? To some extent, crisis management is a fancy label for due diligence and proper planning. A good crisis manager has the answer to the 'what if?' questions. But, as Donald Rumsfeld says, there are 'unknown unknowns'. Sometimes the best you can do is learn from experience and prepare for the worst.
Where's it going? Don't panic. And don't say (as former prime minister Jim Callaghan is - wrongly - alleged to have said): 'Crisis, what crisis?' We live in dangerous times. Cyber-crime, like its old-fashioned analogue cousin, can hit at any moment. Any problem that threatens to get out of control is a potential crisis: a key resignation, a takeover bid, legal action, product recall, sabotage, PR disasters. But there may be business opportunities lurking in the wreckage too. Barely a year after 9/11, Rudy Giuliani, New York's mayor at the time, announced he was setting up a crisis management consultancy with Aon Corporation. Remember the scouts' motto: 'Be prepared'. And don't forget: if you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, you have probably failed to grasp the gravity of the situation.
Fad quotient (out of 10) Seven (and rising).