We’ve heard of the Great Resignation and the Great Retirement. When will the conversation turn to the Great Leadership Change?
There are so many reasons why the faces at the top might change right now: retirement, burn out, change in priorities, and loss of confidence, to name just a few. Some of these might have been in the works for months or years. Some might be driven by factors that have nothing to do with the pandemic.
The reason and the timing are almost immaterial. The only thing that matters is how the change is communicated. There are a couple of options:
Long range planning: if the change is anticipated, it’s a great opportunity to include it in the annual planning. Then you can build a communication strategy for Who, What, and Where to share the news. With planning, change becomes an opportunity to promote the strength of the organization and get free positive promotion.
Last minute notification: of course, you have a crisis communication plan tucked away in a file drawer, right? Granted, not every change is a crisis, however, every company would benefit from having a plan already outlined for handling unanticipated change. Then when the surprise comes, the plan is right there. It boils down to what is the news, who needs to hear the news, and how will it be delivered.
Mopping up after the fact: this is the toughest to manage because you just can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Still, it is still possible to frame the story to minimize damage and preserve customer goodwill and retain employees.
We often say there’s an easy way and a hard way to communicate change. One creates opportunity. The other can open up potential risks. Either way, changes, such as leadership transitions, are bound to happen. Sooner or later you just have to deal with it. Letting a professional guide you through the communication planning process can add immeasurable benefit. To be successful you rely on an attorney, a CPA, and a banker. Add a communications strategist to your list of trusted advisors. You’ll be glad you did!
If you see a leadership change coming, have a confidential conversation with us soon.