Czech Managers Survey: Risks and Crises 2003 (November 2003)

Conducted in: listopad 2003

Why is Every Issue a Problem in Czech

“Unfortunately, I can’t really say anything. We haven’t got a spokesman. We do not comment on anything.”

a head office employee of Lidl
Czech TV (Primetime News), 11 October 2003

Research Summary

One hundred felled trees for one damaged company reputation (*). This is the result of a media titbit recently served to the public by the Czech media. This is a typical problem whose roots seem to reach all the way to the top of the company. Just like with a wilding, ignoring risks can cost dearly.

The surveyed representatives of the 51 largest Czech companies agree on the following observations regarding risk identification and crisis mitigation:

    • Crisis situations in business can be prevented;
    • Computer systems and data security and relations with business partners and competitors constitute above-average risk areas. Sexual harassment is an area associated with below-average risk;
    • Top management should deal with risks and their prevention;
    • Systematic identification of potential risks is a tool that can be used to prevent crises;
    • In the next twelve months, their companies  will innovate processes for crisis prevention and management;
    • Knowledge of how a company works is the most important attribute for managing crisis situations;
    • The main reason the media do not inform objectively about crises in companies is that journalists lack knowledge of the issue;
    • Active communication with the media is a basic communication tool in a crisis;
    • The most suitable persons for communication with the media in a crisis are the press spokesman and the CEO;
    • Insufficient communication with the media in a crisis significantly affects business results;
    • Knowing clients, suppliers and competitors’ risks is important for a company’s development;
    • Knowledge of risks leads to obtaining a competitive advantage;
    • Investment in risk identification and prevention pays off.


Identifying risks creates opportunities. Sometimes it is not the risks themselves but the process of identification that helps discover a new business opportunity. Every issue does not always have to translate into a problem, as it does in the Czech language, whether it concerns production, relations with employees or the media.

(*) Germany-based Lidl & Schwarz Grocery Wholesale operates a discount store chain, in the Czech Republic. Recently, Lidl was subject to intense media scrutiny initiated by ecology activists.

Kontakt: Michal Donath

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