Three Steps to Coming Back Stronger After a Crisis

Kelly Stepno is Senior Director & North American Crisis Practice Lead at APCO Worldwide

This blog was originally posted on

I’ve been in the crisis business for more than 20 years. I thought I had seen it all. I was wrong. Literally every single one of us right now is in a constant state of trying to figure out our new reality, which seems to change by the minute.

Beyond trying to manage all the changes in our personal lives, we are also trying to address the shifts in our businesses. Right now, most organizations we are working with are looking for guidance on how to put out the daily fires. And, we’re helping with this. We’re also talking a lot about recovery.

Yes, recovery. It seems impossible to even think about right now. But we must. For organizations, the economy and our communities to thrive when we come out of this global crisis, we must plan now. While there are still so many unknowns and we don’t know what our new normal will look like, there are steps that organizations can take now to help establish a stronger foothold, so we all come out of this stronger.

  1. Assign someone to think about the future. It can be someone in-house. It can be one of your external partners. But someone needs to do it.
  2. Condition the environment. You need to plan for, and take, immediate steps that will help in the long run. Almost all industries will face a long road back to financial health and it will be important to have a seat at the table when decisions are made about the future of business. Think beyond the box. What you do now will pave the way for how quickly and easily organizations, the economy and communities can recover.
  3. Plan to come back stronger. I recognize this may not be an option for all organizations. However, where possible, it is important to strategize for the future. Think differently. What do you need to plan for to embrace the new reality? How will your business change? What can you do now to pave the way to be able to pivot? How will you put that into practice? How will what you do impact your employees, the economy, and your community?

I recognize that it’s hard to think past today, let alone think about any time in the future. But we need to prepare for what’s to come, as uncomfortable and as unrealistic that may feel right now.

Read more coronavirus-related insights and guidance from APCO at