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Leading People Through Disasters: An Action Guide Paperback – July 9, 2006
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“After many years in the people-side of business, and after having witnessed firsthand the devastation of 9/11, it was clear that the people-side of business was in dire need of an instructional guide for use in times of chaos. This ‘how to’ action guide is a must-read for all of us who want to be better prepared for the next disaster that may come our way . . . even if it is tomorrow.”
— Ann Rhoades, President of PeopleInk, current Director and former Executive Vice President of Jet Blue Airways, and former Vice President People, Southwest Airlines
“Trauma is debilitating. The inevitable, recurring waves of flashbacks and survivor guilt render us less adaptive, resilient, sensitive, and creative— just when we need these capabilities the most. Whether from natural dis- asters, terrorist attacks, or product recalls, crises haunt us all. McKee and Guthridge have written a marvelous book that takes the old Boy Scout motto, ‘Be Prepared,’ to new heights. It will help you get ready for and make the best of any crisis. If it has not happened to you, or not recently, get ready—it will, and this book will help.”
— Richard E. Boyatzis, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Psychology and Human Resources at Case Western Reserve University and ESADE, co-author of the international bestseller Primal Leadership and Resonant Leadership
“This book is a great resource. It’s the only book I’ve seen that makes such a compelling case to include the people issues, such as employee communication, in your business continuity planning. Plus, it contains some great, practical ideas that all companies can easily implement.”
— Kimberly R. Walsh, Vice President, Communications, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
“In Leading People Through Disasters, Kathryn McKee and Liz Guthridge have performed a valuable service to the business and HR community. These experienced and insightful professionals have provided a manual that is rich with concepts, tools, and checklists of how to prepare for and respond to the full range of disasters. By following their guidelines, business and HR professionals can step to the fore to address the difficulties and trauma for customers and employees alike. This book should be read and placed on an accessible portion of the book shelf of every business
person and HR professional.”
—Wayne Brockbank, Clinical Professor of Business, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
“Should disaster strike, is your business prepared to deal with the human side of crises? An excellent place to start is with Leading People Through Disasters. Preparing to meet disaster can make all the difference, and here’s a practical guide that shows you how.”
— Richard W. Beatty, Professor of Human Resource Management, Rutgers University, and Core Faculty Member, University of Michigan, Ross School of Business Executive Education Center
“In normal times, to be successful, organizations require the best human leadership we can provide. In troubled times, as the book Leading People Through Disasters explains quite convincingly, there’s no margin of error. All leaders—including communication professionals—must make sure they are not insulated or isolated from the situation. They must visibly take charge, get their employees to safety, and communicate clearly, concisely, and frequently. Leadership and communication are often synonymous in normal times, and even more so during disasters. This book makes a great business case for being an involved, caring leader who regularly interprets the implications of what is happening. This is the best way to gain the trust and credibility of employees as well as recover jobs and the company.”
— Roger D’Aprix, communication consultant and author of Communicating for Change, Communicating for Productivity, and The Face-to-Face Communication Toolkit
“Leading People Through Disasters is a terrific ‘how-to’ guide for anyone in an organization, especially HR and communications professionals. This book makes the point that you’ve got to prepare for disasters, even when you don’t think you have the bandwidth, and explains why this is well worth your time. The act of preparation will make your organization stronger, more nimble, and more confident to take on all sorts of challenges and opportunities coming your way.”
— Steve Umphreys, Senior Vice President of Global Employee Services, salesforce.com
About the Author
Kathryn McKee began her career in Human Resources at Mattel, Inc. in its early years, where she learned to thrive and survive in a fast-paced Human Resources/Industrial Relations environment. She then moved to Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp and helped create one of the first HR functions in the motion picture industry.
She moved next to First Interstate Bancorp as Senior Vice President of Compensation and Benefits. Kathryn then moved to First Interstate Bank Ltd., as the Chief HR officer of that division, and she then joined Standard Chartered Bank as Senior Vice President and Region Head of HR for the UK-based bank. She now is President of Human Resources Consortia, where she offers consulting on Human Resources strategy, leadership, and executive coaching.
Her leadership and governance background includes serving as 1991 Chairman of the Society for Human Resource Management; and President of the SHRM Foundation, the Human Resource Certification Institute, and the National Human Resources Association. She is listed in Who’s Who in America. She was honored by NHRA as its 1986 Member of the Year; by PIHRA in 1990 with its Award of Excellence in Human Resources; by SHRM in 1994 with its Award for Professional Excellence; and by the Santa Barbara Human Resources Association in 2004 as its Member of the Year.
She loves to write, and her previous publications include the chapter “Moving as the Markets Move: Planning for Resizing,” in Resizing the Organization; “Human Resources: Insurrection or Resurrection,” published in the Human Resource Management Journal; and “New Compensation Strategies for Emerging Career Patterns” with Beverly Kaye, which was published by HR Magazine and won the distinguished William W. Winter Award from the American Compensation Association.
She graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a graduate of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management Executive Program.
Liz Guthridge specializes in strategic employee and change communication. She is the founder of Connect Consulting Group LLC, based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A results-oriented, seasoned consultant, Liz has more than 25 years of experience helping companies communicate more effectively with employees to build trust and achieve business goals. Liz excels in helping leaders to confirm, clarify, and communicate what they want to do and to build buy-in from key constituents.
Over the years, she has consulted with companies across a variety of industries facing a range of challenges, including bankruptcy and mergers and acquisitions.
In addition to her award-winning communication consulting for her clients, Liz frequently writes and speaks on communication and change topics. She also advises communication professionals on how to increase the capabilities and capacity of their communication functions.
Before starting Connect, Liz worked for several change management and HR consulting firms, including Mercer Delta, Towers Perrin, and Hewitt Associates. She also worked for Amoco (now BP) in public and government affairs and was a reporter for the Huntington (W.Va.) Advertiser.
Her first job was serving as the first female vendor for the Tulsa Oilers, the Triple A affiliates of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. As a crusading junior high investigative reporter she experienced firsthand as a vendor being the subject of media coverage. The job provided other excitement too. She still remembers listening to the organist play Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head as a tornado touched down a few miles from the ballpark.
She holds an MA in communication management from the University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication; an MBA from the University of Connecticut; and a BSJ in journalism from Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism.
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1. An Action Guide: It's a good, basic how-to book - a practical guide backed up by the authors' first-hand experience dealing with disasters within large corporations, allowing them to understand the broader ramifications these kinds of events have on an organization.
2. Deals with the "Human Side": There is a lot of business continuation information out there, mostly about data prevention loss. But backing up all the computer systems in the world will not back up the people who use them. Ms. Guthridge and McKee make it abundantly clear that people are an integral part of business survival success and what to address in order to accomplish their, and thus the company's, productive continuation.
3. Geared toward Human Resources: Including Human Resources in the writing of business continuation plans is too rare. To be successful plans need full participation from all the traditional support functions in an organization. This book brings in that dimension, demonstrating how and where HR participation is relevant and the part it can play in the process.
This is a book filled with lessons-learned, knowledge and wisdom that the authors have generously offered up and invite you to use at will. Please take them up on it.
Kudos and Thanks to Liz and Kathryn!
1. The authors' credibility based on their real-life experiences. Between the two, McKee and Guthridge have experienced two earthquakes, a steam pipe explosion that involved asbestos and the city riots during the Rodney King trial. Their crisis plans - informed by their experiences - helped employees through the World Trade Center bomb explosion and 9/11. So they know what they're talking about.
2. It is practical. It even includes sample disaster preparedness plans, sample company emergency instruction wallet card, sample response procedures and tips for small companies.
This book has a large amount of critical information for a small price.