We assist top management in situations where it is necessary to convey complex and/or difficult, and sometimes very unpalatable messages to employees.
We assist where management wishes to do more than just “tell” employees – where it is important that employees receive and respond to the news in the desired manner. The “desired manner” typically means that:
- Top management is not “blamed” for the news, and so credibility is not destroyed
- Difficult, perhaps even painful changes are nevertheless perceived as being “the best alternative”
- Where there are strong “opinion leaders”, they are aligned with management – i.e. they will support management (rather than being critical and undermining both the messages and management’s authority and credibility
- Employees take ownership of changes and so make them succeed (rather than rejecting them and resisting and undermining at every opportunity)
- Confidence in top management is maintained
In particular, we assist complex multinational organisations, especially B-2-B and industrial companies, where there are many separate subgroups of employees, with different perspectives, concerns and relationships with the parent organisation, and consequently where there is scope for likely negative reactions either not to be anticipated or to be mishandled, and more generally for misunderstandings (both of message content and the underlying sentiments).
Over the years, we have gradually developed and refined a robust methodology for analysing the specific news to be imparted and the likely organisational responses, and so developing a complete communication plan focused on achieving the desired outcomes.
In addition, we often prepare specific critical communications.
In certain circumstances, delivery of the “messages” can be effectively spearheaded by an in-house conference. This very specific element of a communication plan can be extremely powerful, and win over even very sceptical and critical sub-groups and individuals – but equally, if mishandled, can damage the credibility of top management.
In some cases, it has already been decided to stage a conference, and we are requested to advise on and assist with the structuring of the event.