Steven Fink has often been called the Dean of Crisis Management for his pioneering work in the field. His seminal work on the subject, Crisis Management: Planning for the Inevitable, still the most successful and widely-read book on crisis management ever published, not only explains how to manage a crisis when one occurs, but was the first book to introduce proactive crisis management strategies designed to help businesses forecast and avert crises altogether.
Moreover, that book forever changed the way businesses look at and deal with crises by giving a tangible feel to an otherwise intangible subject. It showed managers and executives that they no longer had to be the hapless and unwitting victims of the capriciousness of a crisis. They could gain control and manage a crisis, should one occur, from a position of power and control, thereby taking a proactive role in shaping the event’s direction, duration and destiny.
His latest book, Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing the Message, recently published by McGraw-Hill, lays out in clear language the critical importance of public perception in crisis situations. In addition, it contains a road map for proper and effective use of social media as a valuable arrow in a company's crisis communications quiver.
During the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear crisis, the nation's worst commercial nuclear power accident, he served on the crisis management team in the administration of then-Pennsylvania Governor (and former U.S. Attorney General) Dick Thornburgh. By its remarkably calm handling of that potentially devastating crisis, this team was widely credited with having averted a panic among the population of South Central Pennsylvania -- and the rest of the nation. (Editorializing about this team's extraordinary success in the face of imminent catastrophe, The New York Times proclaimed that modern day crisis management was born at Three Mile Island). He later served as an unpaid adviser to the then-Soviet Union during that country’s tragic nuclear crisis at Chernobyl.
Lexicon Communications Corp., the company he founded more than 30 years ago, was the first to specialize in crisis management, crisis communications, and strategic public relations (please see CrisisManagement.com for more information). The firm has represented some of the world's most prestigious companies in virtually all industry groups around the globe in both proactive crisis management training and reactive crisis management response, and he personally has consulted with various branches of government, foreign and domestic, on highly sensitive crisis issues, some involving matters of national security and international diplomacy. He also has provided crisis management-focused litigation support and expert witness testimony in a wide range of high-profile crisis-related matters.
In addition to his active speaking schedule, training seminars and workshops before companies and leading industry groups throughout the world (please see Crisis Management Speakers Bureau for more information), he also has lectured on crisis management and crisis communications at a number of major universities throughout the nation, including the Stanford University Graduate School of Business (where he helped develop the school's first-ever crisis management course curriculum), the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, Claremont Graduate University's Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, UCLA, USC, Penn State and others. His groundbreaking crisis management book, endorsed by the American Management Association, also has been translated and published in Asia and in Europe and continues to be used as a textbook in some of the country's leading business schools, most recently the prestigious Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania.
His last book, Sticky Fingers: Managing the Global Risk of Economic Espionage, deals with economic espionage and the rampant theft of America's trade secrets -- the greatest preventable business crisis facing American companies today. The book offers fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpses into the nation’s most egregious trade secret thefts and names names in specifically detailing which countries are most actively engaged in stealing our nation's top business secrets. The book recently was translated and published in Korea.
He also has edited a half-dozen other best-selling books, including the widely acclaimed The September 11 Syndrome: Anxious Days and Sleepless Nights, which deals with the traumatic after-effects of that national crisis. In addition, he is the author of one novel, The Hailing Sign, about the Iranian hostage crisis, and another novel dealing with terrorism, which currently is awaiting publication.
He frequently is featured as an expert crisis management commentator on leading news outlets around the world, such as "Nightline," The NBC Nightly News, The TODAY Show, CNN, ABC WorldNews Tonight, The CBS Evening News, The CBS Morning News, BBC World News, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered", as well as national news and business publications, including TIME, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The New York Sun, London's Financial Times, Business Week, Industry Week, Investor's Daily, Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, the Associated Press, and hundreds of others around the world. He has written scores of by-lined crisis management articles for such publications as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Nation's Business, Chief Executive and Leaders, as well as numerous trade publications.
He is a member of the Author's Guild and the International Association of Crime Writers.
Born and raised on the East Coast, he graduated from Penn State University with a B.A. degree in Political Science and an English minor, and also attended the Temple University Graduate School of Communications in Philadelphia.
He currently chairs the board of the Dr. Harriet Braiker Memorial Foundation, and is a former board member of the Brandeis-Bardin Institute.
An avid sailor, he has competed in many races, including the grueling two-week, 1,200 mile open ocean race from Southern California to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico -- the longest international sailboat race originating in U.S. waters.
Several years ago, he was honored to deliver the keynote commencement address to the graduating class at Penn State University.