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Global Centre for Crisis and Resilience

Building resilience to position your business for success

A crisis situation can disrupt operations, damage reputations, destroy shareholder value, and trigger other threats. As the business community has learned through the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever for leaders to anticipate and plan for the possibility of an unplanned event. The more prepared you are to manage shocks, the less likely you’ll fall victim to serious harm, and you gain the muscle memory to build resilience for future threats.

84% of respondents have discussed the value of organisational resilience.

Source: PwC’s Global Crisis Survey 2021

PwC’s Global Crisis Survey 2021

How has your organisation fared during the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your experience in PwC's Global Crisis Survey 2021, an after-action assessment of the business community's response to the crisis. You'll receive an immediate personalised benchmark report comparing your experience with your peers' — to help you learn, take action, build resilience, and emerge stronger.

Get Crisis Benchmarking

City in haze

Defining a crisis

As the world becomes more complex and connected, the threat of a corporate crisis grows. There are instances everywhere: a pandemic spreads worldwide, causing massive global business disruption and a public health disaster; a corruption scandal causes a corporate leader to step down; a data breach shakes customer confidence; quality issues trigger a widespread product recall. These are just a few examples among many.

Organisations face challenges that present varying levels of severity. But handled poorly, even a seemingly minor shock has the potential to escalate into a crisis that threatens the viability of a business.

There are different types of crises, and they can arise anywhere, anytime, for a myriad of reasons. Usually triggered by significant internal or external factors, every crisis has the potential to:

  • Cause enterprise-wide, multi-functional impacts
  • Disrupt normal business operations
  • Inflict reputational damage

All of this means the effect of a corporate crisis can be catastrophic — to brands, people, and the bottom line.

Confront a crisis head-on with good preparation and take advantage of opportunities

The way a company prepares and responds determines how it will recover from difficult situations, and whether it emerges stronger. Because crises tend to follow a similar pattern, no matter what the trigger is, proper preparation is possible – even for unforeseen events in particular.

Build resilience before a crisis hits

The more prepared an organisation is to manage a crisis, the more confidently it can avert existential threats in an emergency. PwC can support you with numerous measures to ensure you have all the tools you need in a crisis – from developing crisis plans and holding crisis training to creating an integrated crisis management program.

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Build confidence and take control

The right planning, targeted initiatives, and a clear strategy form the basis for coordinated and effective crisis management. PwC reviews, assesses, and refines your strategy and equips you with all the capabilities you need to respond effectively in times of crisis. These measures include setting up a crisis management group and leveraging the right data for making decisions. Core elements in a successful crisis response include:

  • Establishing a governance structure
  • Identifying central workstreams and owners
  • Establishing a clear approach and setting priorities
  • Basing crisis response decisions on facts
  • Thinking about upcoming risks and potential countermeasures

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Emerge from a crisis stronger, sooner, and more resilient

There should always be an eye to the future.

In the wake of any crisis, the most successful organisations are those that invested in learning lessons, implementing changes, and leveraging opportunities.

The effects of a crisis can often be long-lasting. As you recover, you stabilise your operations and adapt to a new “business as usual”. Your recovery from a crisis can become an opportunity for new growth. In order to seize these opportunities, you develop and implement new business strategies, reflecting and taking actions on the lessons learned. These actions will help your organisation become more resilient and have stronger capabilities for crisis management in the future.

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Respond to crisis and beyond 

It's not a matter of whether a crisis will hit. It's a matter of when.

In 2019, 95% of respondents to our Global Crisis Survey told us they expected to experience a crisis in the next two years.

Then COVID-19 emerged, spreading across the globe, disrupting health and business in a way the world has not seen in a century.

PwC has learned from multiple crises that the way business leaders prepare and respond to disruptive events can determine how well they recover and, ultimately, their ability to emerge stronger as a resilience organisation.

It's important for companies to take swift control of the crisis by mobilising a crisis response plan, stabilising business operations, and strategising for the future. PwC's Global Centre for Crisis and Resilience (GCCR) can support you through these critical waves of response and assemble multidisciplinary specialists across the PwC network to help you emerge stronger.

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Kristin Rivera, PwC's Global Centre for Crisis and Resilience Leader, discusses how we have helped organisations respond to the impacts of COVID-19. | Duration - 01:11

69% of respondents plan to increase their investment in organisational resilience.

Source: PwC’s Global Crisis Survey 2021

A global leader makes all the difference

A crisis can be catastrophic to your business — or it can reveal the strength, quality, and resilience of your organisation. Critically, the time to manage a crisis is before it hits. But if you've never weathered the chaos of a serious disruption, how do you prepare? In the thick of your response, how do you know your strategy is working effectively? And how can you be confident in your ability to turn crisis into opportunity?

That's where working with a global leader in crisis management makes all the difference.

Experience: Bringing ours — and enhancing yours​
From corporate scandals to cyber breaches to pandemics, we bring enormous breadth and depth of experience to help clients prepare for and respond to crises. Our team of specialists across the globe knows what works, and we refine our approach continuously to meet the needs of your business and the changing nature of crisis. We apply that battle-tested experience to strengthen your response and help you emerge stronger.

Coordination and operations: Crisis planning is more than messaging
Seamless coordination and efficient operations are the factors that drive success — for your crisis response, and for your ability to run your business throughout the crisis. Our solutions help you focus on the critical elements of coordination and operations, enabling you to prepare and respond in a holistic manner grounded in facts.

A data-driven, technology-enabled approach to crisis
Our innovative tools can help you identify blind spots that could obscure a wider perspective and hamper your response. And our tools can act as a vital early-warning system — in the crucial first minutes of a crisis when quick action could forestall long-lasting consequences. These tools will help to reveal gaps in your preparation and response, and potentially turn unwelcome surprises into strategic opportunities.

A holistic crisis program based on crisis-tested methodologies
The adaptable framework of our holistic crisis management program means you can scale it to any type of incident. We deploy innovative, tested methodologies, drawn from our experience and enriched by data on crisis-management scenarios. With PwC, you’ll be able to anticipate and respond to the challenges and opportunities of unexpected events — and emerge stronger.


Contact PwC's Global Centre for Crisis and Resilience

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Contact us

Kristin  Rivera

Kristin Rivera

Global Forensics Leader, PwC United States

Melanie Butler

Melanie Butler

UK Territory Crisis & Resilience Co-Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 7801 216737

Dave Stainback

Dave Stainback

US Territory Crisis & Resilience Leader, PwC United States

Tel: +1 678 419 1355

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles

Bobbie Ramsden-Knowles

Partner, UK Territory Crisis & Resilience Co-Leader, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7483 422701