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Learn the key ideas of the book by Frank Supovitz

What to Do When Things Go Wrong

A guide to helping your project survive the inevitable

It is impossible to create a project that is 100% crisis-proof, however there are practices that can help us to foresee, prepare and be ready to act, when things don’t go according to plan. The author Frank Supovitz has gathered a list of these practices in his book What to Do When Things Go Wrong - A Five-Step Guide to Planning for and Surviving the Inevitable - And Coming Out Ahead, explaining how, by using his five action method, it is possible to come up with backup plans to deal with both big and small hiccups and to thereby minimise their negative impact.

What to Do When Things Go Wrong
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Many useful tips to:

  • Organise events and create disaster-proof projects.
  • Find out exactly how to behave when things go wrong, without panicking.
  • Rationalise the impacts of a crisis by prioritising risk levels.

The author of the book:

For over 25 years Frank Supovitz has been the mastermind behind some of America’s most prestigious events: first as the director of special events for Radio City Music Hall Productions, then as Senior Vice President of the National Football League and then as director of the colossal Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and NFL Draft. To celebrate his experiences, in 2003 he received an honourary degree in business administration, sports, entertainment and events management from Johnson & Wales University. Today he continues his career as the founder of Fast Traffic Events and Entertainment, based in New York.


The five fundamental actions to manage crises of all levels and for all entities

Whatever the dimension and importance of the event or project that we are working on, it is best to get comfortable with the truth straight away: the chance that everything is going to run smoothly, without hiccups is very low. From a sudden change in the weather, to an unexpected blackout during America’s famous Super Bowl, the likelihood that something is going to wrong is high and an action plan that only covers everything working out for the best, is simply not going to cut it. The way to come out of a sudden crisis unscathed and prevent it from turning into a disaster is to be prepared to manage it properly.

Over 25 years of a career in managing massive sports events and relative contingency plans have helped Frank Supovitz to develop an action plan to make any event disaster-proof, or at least to try. His method is split into five phases, to be implemented in chronological order at different times, from the planning phase, to the end of the project:

  1. imagine
  2. prepare
  3. execute
  4. respond
  5. evaluate

By following an imaginary path through these actions, we can foresee and deal with all nature of crises without giving in to panic and we can respond to emergencies with clarity and focus, preferably coming out unscathed.


The key ideas of "What to Do When Things Go Wrong"

The five fundamental actions to manage crises of all levels and for all entities
Understanding the concept of crisis and prioritizing risk levels
Imagine crisis scenarios for disaster-proof planning
Always being prepared thanks to your backup plans
How to best execute the emergency plan without panicking
The difference between responding and reacting
The importance of timely communication in crisis management
A final analysis to help improve future projects
Take-home message

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