Media Insights and Crisis Expertise » Tony Hayward http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mediaandcrisis Your destination for best practice issues and crisis management, current issues, media training, presentation skills, consumer advocacy and strategic issues management Wed, 26 Oct 2011 16:40:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 “We all just want our lives back” http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mediaandcrisis/2010/11/17/%e2%80%9cwe-all-just-want-our-lives-back%e2%80%9d/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mediaandcrisis/2010/11/17/%e2%80%9cwe-all-just-want-our-lives-back%e2%80%9d/#comments Wed, 17 Nov 2010 14:04:37 +0000 Duncan Gallagher http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/mediaandcrisis/?p=384 As media commentators continue to pick through the carnage following the Deepwater Horizon blowout, some interesting insights are bubbling to the service. For those of you that saw the BBC’s Money Programme, one of the defining moments that shone through was a quote from Tony Hayward that.. “Maybe if I had achieved a degree from RADA rather than in Geology, things would have been different.”

Now for me that is a defining quote, what type of people do we want running these global organisations? Experts in their field who have a deep understanding of their operations? Or trained orators who can deliver impressive sound bites?

In the ideal world we would have both, but the reality is that the combination is pretty rare. For example, would you like Richard Branson to fly you and family across the Atlantic? Or (far more worryingly) step on a plane piloted by Michael O’Leary? No! All of these people, including Tony Hayward, have realised the benefit of surrounding themselves with experts in their field. In Tony Hayward’s case, you would have to argue he was let down not by his statements, but by the people who put him in that position in the first place.

The first objective for any business is to minimise the likelihood of a crisis, but incidents can and will arise and from that point on, the imperative has to be to deploy the best people to do the best jobs at the right time and place.

I for one have a certain amount of sympathy for Tony Hayward, he paid a high personal price as you would expect, but I think he came away with some new found respect for the how the media machine operates. I can pretty much guarantee the media won’t find it so easy to ambush him in his next role. Just need to remember that not everyone gets a second chance in situations like this.

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