As we have seen time and again both through our personal experiences and through human history, how well we prepare for disaster contributes greatly to our experiences when one eventually strikes. This is true for us both as individuals and in our roles within the larger organizations to which we contribute.
In our conversations with the many wonderful employees at Southwest Airlines while researching our Amazon best-selling book The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013), we got an inside look on how important the proper preparation can be. While many organizations do an admirable job at disaster preparation, with Southwest Airlines we learned that having a social employee culture activated around open communication channels can be a difference-maker in these times of crisis. Southwest isn’t merely a model of good culture when things are going good, but also when the world decides to throw us a curveball.
A great story takes flight
In our interviews with Southwest, we learned of the many ways the airline sprang into action during the events of Sep. 11, 2001, or more recently during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In each of these instances, Southwest’s stories were remarkable not only for their organizational and logistical responses to these disasters, but also for how individual Southwest employees responded in a spirit of shared humanity, rising above and beyond the call of their stations to provide aid and assistance to others in any way they could. These stories were truly heartwarming, and it was an honor to be given the opportunity to share them with readers.
As we have explained numerous times both in The Social Employee and here and on our blog, a good story has a way of taking on a life of its own, winding its way through different communities until it is firmly embedded in our cultural consciousness. So when the editors at the Disaster Resource Guide asked if we could adapt Southwest’s story for the newly released 16th edition, naturally we were happy to oblige.
A tradition of business continuity strategy
New Orleans Fire Department Captain Steve Lambert prepares to board a Southwest flight on his way to assist with Hurricane Sandy relief.
The Disaster Resource Guide has an established reputation for providing industry-leading analysis, best practices, and examples of successful business continuity initiatives in the face of disasters. The newest edition of the guide provides a special focus on resilience. Aside from the Southwest story, other features include stories on the importance of strong relationships and leadership, lessons learned from the Philippines and Hurricane Sandy disasters, and the importance of inculcating preparedness as a shared cultural value. Dell, another star of The Social Employee, also has a feature on communication strategies!
Business continuity in the face of disaster affects professionals in every field and region of the planet. Download your free copy of the 16th Edition of the Disaster Resource Guide and learn how you can better protect your business in the face of the unexpected.
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and a columnist for Fast Company and The Atlantic