Skip to contentSkip to navigation

White Swan: Lessons from the heart of government during 9/11

A crisis can come in many forms. But whatever it looks like, one thing is certain: businesses need to be prepared. White Swan: The Crisis Podcast showcases host Gavin Megaw and guest Gary Cleland, both of Hanover Communications, our sister company in the United Kingdom, and Karen White of our Halifax office to talk with a special guest to look at crises from all angles to explain how senior business leaders stay on top of things during those tense, headline-making moments.

Each episode of White Swan features an in-depth conversation with a senior figure from the world of business, who tells us about their crisis experiences and gives you the lessons you need to hear.

In episode 8, Gavin Megaw speaks with Lord Richard Wilson, the former Cabinet Secretary and most senior civil servant in the United Kingdom when Tony Blair was Prime Minister.

In a fascinating and open conversation, Mr. Wilson talks about the vital role that the Civil Contingencies Committee (also known as COBRA) plays in pulling people physically together in one place to stop them running around like “headless chickens” in a crisis, and how the U.K. Government dealt with the September 11th attacks—including his own role in that response.

Mr. Wilson goes on to lay down his eight-point manifesto for business leaders facing a crisis. This is a riveting listen and a true insight into how politicians deal with crises—with genuine lessons for all business leaders.