At its core, reputational risk management is about making decisions. Organisations need to ensure they have the management structure necessary to make effective decisions in an efficient manner.
In most cases, crises that will threaten an organisation's reputation will come with their own unique – and often difficult – choices for people to make.
While in some instances businesses have much more information with which to make important decisions, this can often be both a blessing and a curse. McKinsey and Company noted there needs to be a balance between the use of in-depth analytics and personal intuition – a challenge that may require a new way of thinking about these issues.
Promote flexibility with adhocracy
No two threats to an organisation's reputation are ever likely to be the same, meaning professionals tasked with managing corporate affairs need to be both flexible and confident in their decision making.
According to McKinsey and Company, this is where the concept of adhocracy can make a notable difference to the way an organisation approaches both external and internal communication.
Put simply, adhocracy is the antithesis of bureaucracy, seeking to remove the limits these processes can force upon people. Where a traditional approach may demand employees follow an existing set of rules, adhocracy advocates the opposite.
McKinsey and Company used the example of how activities are coordinated within a business to detail the difference between these two modes. In the case of bureaucracy, an organisation would structure these based on existing rules and procedures, whereas adhocracy promotes a reaction to a problem or opportunity instead.
Create a link between corporate affairs and creativity
Many current business actions and interactions are characterised by their fast pace and rapid evolution, often forcing organisations to react quicker than they may be comfortable with.
This is especially true with regards to external communication. Businesses can no longer rely on the general public being a static audience. In many cases, the channels they prefer can change almost overnight, and some are even becoming resistant to traditional forms of demographic categorisation.
Haworth noted that adhocracy is particularly effective in the information age, as current technology and communication trends benefit organisations that can react to events quickly. According to the firm, the current state of corporate communication would be seen as a chaotic mess by conventional management structures. In comparison, adhocracy sees it as a series of challenges.
As the nature of corporate communication evolves, so must the strategies organisations put into place to ensure they can keep up with their audience.