There have been some doozies of teachable moments in crisis management in the past few years — on the national stage, everything from BP to Toyota to Ford. Countless other crises have unfurled on smaller stages, many having to do with nonprofit organizations. Boards and management would do well to pay attention to what Adam Silver just did on behalf of the NBA.
We found Ron Fournier’s piece in The National Journal on the Sterling-Silver scandal to be spot on. The direct quotes from Adam Silver are the best lesson.
What did Adam Silver do? He took control, learned the facts, got counsel, and engaged key audiences. What we found most impressive was that Silver gave concise answers to questions. Concise, as in under 20 words. Can you remember the last time you heard someone answer a reporter’s question both clearly and briefly? Yes, we were left pondering for a bit as well.
Most nonprofits think “this could never happen to us.” We’re betting that the NBA did not plan for this scenario, either — to have the president of the United States make highly negative comments about an NBA owner from halfway around the world?! Read the piece by Ron Fournier. Then send it along to all your board members. Next board meeting, you’ll want to build in time to discuss how your organization might handle a comparable situation.