“Announcement Day is not the finish line…”
Yes, a thousand times, yes.
This quote is from an excerpt of the book “The Synergy Solution” published in Chief Executive. The excerpt explains why pre-close planning and post-close execution are critical to the success of long-term value creation. Companies, of course, need to be prepared to explain their strategies and plans for success to investors and key stakeholders, but also to be able to reduce uncertainty and give direction to employees and partners.
This excerpt offers a key question that leaders and a board must be able to answer: “How will this deal affect our stock price and why?” It also offers advice on creating an “employee experience team” to manage change and create a new culture and the expectations of executive teams to quickly create inspiring points of view for the future.
Building on the authors' points, I say leadership needs to plan for change, inspire employees, create a vision for culture and ways of working. This should be done BEFORE announcements, with an ongoing dialogue for months to come.
It’s also important for leaders to also be able to answer the questions that all employees have, and create a communication ecosystem and regular cascade – communicating AND listening -- to support an effective story of change.
Questions Employees Have About Change
Why is change happening now?
What is the risk of not changing?
What is the urgency?
If I wait long enough, will the change just go away?
What will the change mean to me?
What are my choices?
What are the benefits of supporting the change?
What if I disagree with the change?
What if they have tried before and failed?
What if I am forced to do more for the same pay?
An effective change story:
Taps into purpose and meaning
Helps solidify people’s support for the change
Helps visualize the transformation from present reality to future possibilities
Is something all employees can identify with
Helps employees juggle competing demands as they learn what will be expected from them and the support they will receive
When a story isn’t clear, people create their own narrative. Proper planning, clear vision and communication will minimize potential confusion and greatly supports synergy inside and outside the organization.
Are you planning for changes in your company? I can help.