Deutsche Telekom with gaping hole in its alarm plan

It’s smarter to learn from the failure of others than from your own. German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom was kind enough to teach us a lesson this weekend how NOT to prepare for a crisis. Early Saturday morning, a “database error” caused a major blackout of their mobile voice and data services, leaving millions of customers in Germany and abroad with no signal for hours, some for the entire day. What appeared to be a worst case scenario already for the cell phone carrier, was topped by a gaping hole in its notification plan. According to media reports, that is.

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The Rhythm of Managing a Crisis

If you respond to a crisis, it requires doing a lot of right things, and doing them right: You need to have access to the right resources, the right people, the right tools, and you must find the right tone. But one crucial element is often overlooked: the right rhythm. Managing a crisis at the right rhythm will prevent you from responding to the situation with too hasty decisions or with too much delay.
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Daa dahhh… my article, published in a new “must-read” book

When I entered my office today, I found a large envelope on my desk. Inside: A book! The first two copies of a book I contributed to. It’s a sampler with a number of articles, one of them being from me, which makes it a “must-read”… My apologies: the book is available in German only, so I’m happy to give you a quick overview about the book and – of course – my article. Full disclosure upfront: this post is pure advertising! Read more

Simple plans for a complicated world

In the recently published book “Simple Rules: How to thrive in a complex world”, MIT and Stanford authors Donald Sull and Kathleen Eisenhardt show how simple rules often lead to better decisions or actions, by taking away those considerations which are not relevant for the solution. Can this also be applied to crisis communications or crisis management plans? Here are some thoughts. Read more