Crisis Leadership: Preparation, Management, and Recovery

Jun 8–10, 2021 $6,550 (In Person)
Questions? Contact Us:
Kimberly Rapp
Associate Director of Business Development and Learning Solutions
+1 212-854-1445

Columbia University Campus
New York City 
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Certificate Credits: 3
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“If you have significant leadership responsibility, the odds are high that you're going to face an organizational crisis within the next three years. In this program, you’ll learn how to build a robust organization for when that time comes.”
– Faculty Director Paul Ingram

Hear from faculty director Paul Ingram as he introduces the program.

On any given day, the media presents us with well-publicized and scrutinized stories of organizational crises. But while some crises make headlines, others may be less public but no less threatening to an organization.

The reality is that every organization is vulnerable to crises. And when a crisis arises, the first thing people look for is a leader. Executives who may be exceptional leaders under normal operations find themselves facing the pressures of time to preserve shareholder confidence, mitigate brand damage, and ultimately protect the bottom line.

The Crisis Leadership: Preparation, Management, and Recovery program prepares leaders for this challenge, recognizing that crisis situations require different leadership than normal conditions and that leaders can’t wait until they’re in the midst of a disaster to seek help.

The three-day program teaches upper- and senior-level executives how to strategically manage complex situations where the stakes are high. Participants learn how to avoid making bad leadership decisions under pressure and how to leverage the situation to remind stakeholders, their teams, and themselves of their core values. Executives also identify how to learn from a crisis, walking away better equipped to lead through the inevitable challenges of tomorrow.

This program is also being offered in a live online format. Learn more about Crisis Leadership (Online).

Please Contact Us

Please contact our Learning Solutions Specialists at +1 212-854-3395 to learn more.


During times of crisis, the measure of a leader is tested. This program helps you prepare for these situations that are bound to arise in any executive’s career, helping you build an organization that is robust and responsive when the time comes.

Specifically, you will walk away knowing how to:

  • Strategically and successfully manage yourself and your organization through times of crisis
  • Avoid making the wrong leadership decisions under pressure
  • Communicate effectively about the crisis with internal and external stakeholders
  • Create an environment of psychological safety for your team(s)
  • Leverage your core values to guide you through a crisis
  • Learn from a crisis so you're better equipped to lead through the challenges of tomorrow

Crisis Simulation Exercise

To illustrate how a crisis goes viral, the program features a PressureTest™ simulation by CommCore. During this hands-on crisis simulation, attendees work in a compressed, real-time environment, responding to a series of cascading events stemming from an incident that went viral on social media. The drill will demonstrate how quickly an incident can become a public event and how it can negatively impact the reputation of a company or organization with its employees, vendors, and other stakeholders. PressureTest teaches the need to build teams and teamwork for crisis response and the requirement to drill your crisis plan to improve it when an incident occurs.

Upon completion of this program, you will earn three days towards a Certificate with select alumni and tuition benefits. Learn more.


The program is structured around a leader’s responsibilities — leading yourself and leading others — with each day focusing on a different aspect of the framework.

Day 1: Managing external stakeholders during crises

Learn how to communicate with external stakeholders when a crisis arises, including what kind of information you should provide, the style and tone with which you provide it, and how to manage questions you can't answer. You’ll acquire concrete tools for identifying and prioritizing stakeholders in times of crisis.

Day 2: Leading teams during crises

Understand how to produce psychological safety for your team and allow team members to give their perspective honestly — a crucial component to effective decision making in times of crisis. You’ll practice how to get full input from team members in order to make sense of the complexity of a crisis.

Day 3: Leading yourself during crises

You’ll learn about a framework to keep your own foundation of core values intact so you don't get consumed by the reactions of others. Hands-on exercises teach you how to maintain perspective, allowing you to continue to act as a leader and not become engulfed in the chaos around you.

Guest Speakers

The program features guest speakers who will talk about crises they have managed within their organization or industry. Speaker sessions will be hands-on and interactive with open discussions around the guest speaker’s experiences. Upcoming guest speakers include:

Steven G. Mandis
Lecturer; Chairman and Senior Partner, Kalamata Capital

Mandis is chairman and senior partner of Kalamata Capital, a provider of online small business financing. During the financial crisis, Mandis was a senior adviser to McKinsey & Company before becoming chief of staff to the president and COO of Citigroup and serving on executive, management, and risk committees at the firm.

In his Crisis Leadership program session, Mandis talks about an incident at Goldman Sachs where the company sustained substantial investment and trading losses followed by a mass exodus of senior leadership — cumulating in an organizational crisis that Mandis was a participant in turning around.

Jason Caldwell
President and Owner at Latitude 35
World-Class Athlete

Caldwell is a world-class athlete and professional adventurer. In 2017, Caldwell and his team of four set the world record as the fastest crew to ever row across the Atlantic Ocean, their feat recognized and enshrined in the 2018 Guinness Book of World Records. At the Crisis Leadership program, Caldwell shared his experience managing crisis while rowing across the Atlantic.

Guest speaker lineup is subject to change.


For a complete program schedule download the agenda.


The program is designed for executives with significant leadership responsibility of teams, departments, and units as well as professionals in areas such as communications, people, and strategy and that are called in action in times of crisis.

Columbia Business School alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for this program. More on the Alumni Tuition Benefit.


Hear from Past Participants:



Paul Ingram, Faculty Director
Kravis Professor of Business

Paul Ingram is the Kravis Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and faculty director of the Columbia Advanced Management Program, Columbia’s flagship residential program for senior executives from around the globe. His PhD is from Cornell University, and he was on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University before coming to Columbia. He has held visiting professorships at Tel Aviv University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Toronto.

The courses he teaches on management and strategy benefit from his research on organizations in the United States, Canada, Israel, Scotland, China, Korea and Australia. His research has been published in more than sixty articles, book chapters and books. His publications have received numerous distinctions, including Gould Prize, and best paper awards in the areas of Organization and Management Theory, and Collective Behavior and Social Movements. Ingram's current research examines the intersection between culture and social networks. Recent papers investigate questions such as the role of value similarity to foster business networks, determinants and outcomes of individuals’ fit in organizational cultures, and influences on ethical decision making.

He has served as President of the College of Organization Science of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS). He is currently an Associate Editor for Academy of Management Discoveries, and has served as a consulting editor for the American Journal of Sociology, a senior editor for Organization Science, an Associate Editor for Management Science and on the editorial boards of Administrative Science Quarterly and Strategic Organization. Paul’s undergraduate degree is from Brock University where received the Governor General’s Award as the top graduating student. In 2004 he received the Distinguished Graduate Award from Brock’s Faculty of Business.

At Columbia Business School, Paul has received the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence, won the Commitment to Excellence Award, voted by graduating EMBA students five times, and thrice been chosen by graduating EMBA students to deliver the keynote speech at their commencement ceremony. He has consulted on issues of organizational design and strategy to leading companies in the finance, health care, insurance, energy, and consumer products industries. Paul was born in Canada to immigrant parents and was the first in his family to attend college.

Matthew Feely
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Management Division

Matt joined the management faculty in May 20l3, providing leadership lectures to MBA and Executive MBA candidates, as well as Columbia Business School's Executive Education participants.

Fusing theoretical knowledge with practical experience gained from a three decade-long navy career, Matt's lecture analyzing leadership techniques used during — and leadership lessons derived from — "Operation Tomodachi," a joint Japan-U.S. response to the cascading series of crises starting with the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, is particularly popular. His elective course, Top Management Process, focuses on leadership considerations useful to general managers and chief executive officers.

Research interests include: leadership decision making, low-probability, high-consequence event risk management and planning, and enterprise strategy development.

Along with Professors Ingram and Feely, additional Columbia Business School faculty contribute to and teach in the program.

* Program location and session times may vary. While the majority of our in-person programs run on campus, some programs may run off campus in New York City.