David G. Kinney knows what to do when disaster strikes. As the CEO of a successful corporation positioned to lead an entire industry, all aspects of his strategic vision were being executed precisely on schedule. And then something happened totally unforeseen: it was discovered that one of the company’s investors was running a Ponzi scheme that was defrauding over one hundred investors.
Like any dedicated CEO, David G. Kinney wanted to protect the company and the livelihoods of his employees. In the midst of the upheaval he entrusted the handling of the matter to a legal professional. Although a full government investigation of David G. Kinney and the company resulted in no charges being filed, that did not prevent the attorney from running up unnecessary legal bills while doing nothing to protect the interest of David G. Kinney, the company, or his employees.
As David G. Kinney freely admits, he can teach his clients a great deal from his successes but much more from his failures. “‘Hope for the best but plan for the worst’ has taken on significantly greater meaning for me,” David G. Kinney says. “I counsel my clients to have a clear strategic plan for everything they want to accomplish; then go back and get very creative in anticipating anything and everything that can possibly go wrong to create your disaster plan.”
Learn from David G. Kinney. Avoid the catastrophic impact of the unexpected. Prepare for the unanticipated with a comprehensive disaster response plan that addresses every possible unforeseen event. Whether it’s something as simple as “fire drills” or something more complex like anticipating the results of downward economic cycles, a disaster plan enables you to respond quickly to minimize the fallout. When disaster strikes, be prepared to essentially switch to “autopilot” and follow a predetermined process for addressing the situation. Although you can’t always avoid disaster, you can control the impact it has on your organization by being prepared with a response plan you can implement immediately.
David G. Kinney thought he had prepared his company for the unexpected with everything from earthquake and fire evacuation plans to a bullpen of prospective employees. However, he never imagined that a fraudulent investor and self-serving attorney would cause such extraordinary damage to his company and reputation. “I lost five years of my life building a company, a year trying to salvage it, and then four more years rebuilding my life,” said David G. Kinney.
You can never be too prepared. As David G. Kinney knows all too well, it’s imperative that you are proactive with everyone involved in your business. When you encounter those unexpected events you will not only be in a position to take control of the situation, you will also demonstrate your ability to handle a crisis successfully. This demonstrates strength amongst your employees, vendors, and investors, and ensures that your reputation remains intact.
Remember that a business plan is not a substitute for a disaster response plan. In fact, without a disaster response plan, one catastrophic event may put you out of business. “I don’t like to admit that I got caught off guard,” said David G. Kinney, “but if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have learned some of the key lessons that now enable me to best teach business owners how to most profitably run their companies.”
Take the time to think through what can happen in your business. Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, plan for every conceivable disaster. You’ll be glad you did. You’ll save money, time, and even your reputation in the process.
Learn from David G. Kinney’s experiences and be proactive. You never know: the disaster response plan you implement today could save your business, finances, and reputation tomorrow. And that’s the point, isn’t it? You never know.