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Communication plans play key role in perception of stability

Ask CEOs what they want for their business, the answers usually come out in numbers:

  • X percent increase in sales 

  • Y percent reduction in costs

  • Z percent rise in productivity

Nothing wrong with numerical targets, but they often miss a more important goal –– stability.

A public health crisis like COVID-19 was not only a medical menace, it was a destabilizer of routines we all depended on to get things done. Similarly, when a key executive leaves a company (especially the founder, CEO or “face” of the company) the potential is high for disruption, confusion and questions about stability.

Fortunately, both disruptive situations –– a crisis or an important succession –– can be anticipated and prepared for by smart executive teams. What’s often overlooked, however, is how critical internal and external communications are to the effectiveness of action plans. 

You need more than a plan to solve the problem. You need the explanation for what you’re doing, and why. 

Who needs to know more in a crisis or succession? Certainly key constituents like board members, company managers and employees, important customers, and often members of the public.  

The failure to communicate effectively leads to an organizational stagnation that saps energy and innovation and drags down momentum.

Timing is important. The right messages should go out to the right people at the right time. Delay simply intensifies the consequences later on. The tools — holding statements, press releases, internal emails, social media posts, and more — must be used before confusion and uncertainty take over.

When an organization faces adversity or uncertainty, strategically deployed communications are the key links back to stability, especially the alignment on priorities goals. Stability is not inaction. It’s the opposite. Stability is movement on a steady course toward those quantifiable goals we have set for our companies.

And stability doesn’t prosper in the dark — it needs the light of information to sustain the confidence and understanding that supports an organization’s viability.

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