Crises can be a great leveler, putting your leadership style and your ability to motivate, inspire and drive behavior to the test. However good the best-laid plans, the role of leadership is probably the single most important variable in the perceived—and actual—effectiveness of an organization’s response to a crisis.

While the risk to an institution is large, the personal risk to leaders is even more significant. Not only are multiple stakeholders scrutinizing every decision you and your team makes and every word that is said, but your Board can feel the pressure to engage to demonstrate their seriousness as well.

Our crisis leadership workshop can be conducted during off-sites, board retreats or any meeting when key members of the leadership team are together. Each workshop is tailored to the risks, recent experiences, and leadership expectations of the institution.

Workshop Description:

Our Crisis Leadership Workshop includes a presentation and discussion of best practices in combination with 2-3 short exercises that tests reputational risk awareness, understanding of key stakeholder expectations, and the quality and speed of strategic decision-making.

In these sessions, we cover:

  • The nature of crisis and reputational risk
  • The critical elements of decision-making in a crisis and how it differs from business as usual
  • Understanding the human factor—both on the institution and on oneself
  • Team dynamics including how to avoid groupthink—or worse, bunker mentality—to get the very best from your team
  • The hallmarks of effective crisis leadership
  • Communications strategies, the role of social media and speaking with the press, or not
  • Getting ahead of the issue—understanding the role of context and externalities, including political pressure and unrelated events
  • Culture and management processes necessary to prevent a crisis from occurring in the first place


  • 3-hour onsite workshop for up to 15 participants
  • Learn crisis management best practices including
    • How to respond to reputational, “self-inflicted” crises, not just physical emergencies
    • Key capabilities required to manage reputational risk
    • The optimal crisis management team
    • The role of the president and board during a crisis
    • The use and practice of crisis management decision-making tools

Target Audience:

  • Cross-functional Administration Leadership Team
  • Board Members


  • 3-hour, onsite workshop with in-person facilitation of session by two senior members of BMCG team
  • All materials, including participant handbooks and two scenarios tailored to your institution
  • Memo reflecting observations and related recommendations relative to scenario performance

Optional Workshop Add-On: Campus Active Aggressor—Preparing for The Unthinkable

Daily headlines remind us of the threat and impact of violence on our community. In its most extreme form—active shooter/mass casualty—these events are sudden, unexpected, and high-profile and can have a profound impact on students, parents, faculty, and staff and the trust they have in the safety of their classrooms, residences, and workplaces. With each new incident, the concern on campuses grows as does the pressure on leaders to take action to prevent violent acts and keep communities safer. Yet few schools have adequately prepared beyond tactical training for police departments and ambiguous statements in their handbooks about workplace violence.

In this add on session to the Crisis Leadership Workshop, we review steps that your team can take now to develop a broad and holistic approach to mitigate, respond to, and manage the impacts and consequences of this most troubling of risks including:

  • Establishing Prevention Programs
  • Planning an Operational and Strategic Response
    • What to expect when police arrive
    • The importance of interfacing with and organizing first responders, governmental agencies and the myriad of other civic and volunteer organizations responding to the event
  • Considerations Around Humanitarian Assistance
    • Financial Assistance
    • Psychological Support and Grief Counseling
    • Family Assistance Centers
    • Guidance and planning for vigils, memorials, & charities

NOTE: This session will extend the Crisis Leadership Workshop by 1-hour and is offered at no charge.


In addition to facilitated discussions about these issues, attendees will also participate in 2-3 short exercises that tests reputational risk awareness, understanding of key stakeholder expectations, and the quality and speed of strategic decision-making.