Our world is increasingly complex. Companies and organizations are larger than ever and are tightly connected by complex and changing technologies and long supply chains. Daunting and complicated issues like climate change, population shifts and migration, and global political instability create very rapid and widespread change. Many critical resources such as water and energy are in increasingly short supply. Social, political, environmental, and economic conditions seem unstable and unpredictable. Ways of operating, doing business, making a living, interacting with others, and communicating are constantly evolving. The high level of complexity and change is matched by an escalating number and severity of emergencies, disasters, and crises.

Bad things are happening all the time, all around us. It seems like social media and old or legacy media are constantly reporting on a new threat, crisis, or disaster. Severe weather (e.g., hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, heat waves, and droughts) occurs throughout the United States and around the world. Most climate scientists predict more extreme weather because of global climate change. Spills of toxic materials (e.g., oil, industrial chemicals, sewage, and even radiological material) are increasingly common. Earthquakes are regular events in some parts of the world and are among the deadliest naturally occurring crises. In addition, they can lead to secondary crises, such as tsunamis, toxic spills, and industrial ...

Get Communication in Times of Trouble now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.