Predicting The Perfect Storm
By Chris Gidez, Hill & Knowlton
In many respects, the Toyota recall has been the perfect storm. A “rare combination of factors” has caused it to be the Tylenol of our time – a definitive case study in crisis management.
The general consensus view is that Toyota may have stumbled out of the starting gate, and this may have compounded the situation. But it was able to recover its balance in short order. Was irreparable damage done? The final chapter in this book has yet to be written, so it remains to be seen whether Toyota will earn kudos or criticism when all is said and done.
However, it is not too soon to dissect the anatomy of this crisis; and in doing so we can see that in many respects its trajectory was clearly predictable, and not all that surprising.
Several months back a client asked me, “Is it possible to predict whether a situation will remain just a mere nuisance, or instead morph into a full-blown, pants-on-fire crisis?”
In fact, by examining various crises that have dominated headlines in recent years we can see a commonality of combustion factors that can cause a matter to ignite. The presence of a larger number of these combustion factors simply increases the likelihood the situation will escalate.
For the full blog, please go to Predicting the perfect storm