Published in Continuity Central, June 2022
Many organisations and business have adopted the Gold, Silver and Bronze (Strategic, Tactical and Operational) tiers of command developed in the UK by the Emergency Services to structure their response to a disruption or a crisis. For the most part this has been successful, but in some organisations this system has been applied without a true understanding of what it seeks to achieve, and in others it has become synonymous with the status of executives in their business-as-usual roles.
This article argues that the Gold, Silver and Bronze structure remains an excellent framework through which to respond to an incident or a crisis, but it does not apply to all organisations in all circumstances. Organisations should, as much as possible, arrange their incident response framework to leverage existing line-management structures, delegations and authorities and construct an incident response system based on who is best located to decide what needs to be done and coordinate the response.
Incident response command teams should enhance business-as-usual structures and create the forum to break down organisational boundaries and enable more diverse creative-problem-solving, integration, and coordination. In cases where the terms Gold, Silver or Bronze become confused with personal status, organisations may be better served by naming their incident response structure along functional lines.