Here’s why every business leader needs crisis management training

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has shown exemplary leadership throughout a number of crises facing the country, including her response to the 2019 Christchurch attack as well as COVID-19.

By U2B Staff 

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Companies of all shapes and sizes — and from different industries — face various forms of risk, be it adapting to the rapidly changing consumer tastes to technological disruptions. While some risks, such as equipment malfunction, are short-term challenges, the bigger concern for business leaders are risks that negatively impact them in the long run. And that’s when crisis management comes in.

Investopedia described crisis management as identifying threats to an organisation or its stakeholders and responding effectively to those threats. While critical to the survival of companies, many business leaders are often ill-equipped to deal with or lead through a crisis. 


COVID-19 has been a strenuous test of leadership and crisis management. A survey of almost 4,000 professionals across the UK by LM –City & Guilds Group showed that many leaders lack the skills needed to lead through times of crisis.

This includes falling short on softer skills, such as empowering and motivating teams (36%), and empathy and emotional intelligence (31%) – potentially impacting workforce motivation and, ultimately, performance. 

Back in 2019, a Gartner survey showed that only half of leaders feel confident leading their teams. Worryingly, leaders are having a crisis of confidence in themselves, with only half of more than 2,800 surveyed reporting they are well-equipped to lead their organisation in the future.

Risk and crisis management courses

While every leader deals with different crises, ultimately, each is remembered by their results. 

McKinsey notes, “What leaders need during a crisis is not a predefined response plan but behaviours and mindsets that will prevent them from overreacting to yesterday’s developments and help them to look ahead.”

There are many ways for business leaders to beef up their skills in risk and crisis management, including via executive education. These courses can equip leaders with the skills needed to deal with uncertainty and identify ways to discover opportunities for recovery and growth.

The London School of Economics, for instance, offers an online certificate course on Risk and Crisis Management, which aims to help learners develop strategies to better prepare their organisation for the future, with an interdisciplinary perspective on risk and crisis management. 


“Focusing on the interplay between risk and crisis management, this course brings these two disciplines together to equip you with strategies to prepare for and respond to potential challenges effectively. Throughout the course, you’ll learn how to make provisions and have the necessary strategies in place for potential risks to your organisation,” notes its website. 

London Business School offers Crisis Leadership and Human Behaviour, a programme designed for crisis managers and risk management executives, communications and PR executives and mid-to senior-level managers making key decisions, including those without a specific crisis or risk manager remit.

Ultimately, learning the tools and strategies to help you cope with disruption and crises can better prepare you to respond quickly and develop the right strategies to help your company through a crisis.