We support some pretty large organizations. One of the consequences of being large AND nimble and fast-acting is there are times when important decisions are made that must be communicated without much time for preparation.
This is an executive moment. Not necessarily make or break, but something that sets part of the tone of who you are.
There are lots of opportunities for things to go badly.
- You fail to communicate adequately
- You have too much throat clearing
- You go on and on
- You are maudlin or insincere
- You are aloof or uncaring
- You ramble
This week, one of our clients made a bold set of decisions that impacted their most important channel partners, the field personnel worldwide and a significant portion of the executive staff. They made the decisions fast (1 day) and it was the right thing to do as information had to get out accurately – right away.
A senior executive was selected to send the baseline communications. Other executives around the world were asked to forward with an introduction in addition to the mail. Several things about these mails made them very effective.
- The subject line was the headline
- Context was established quickly
- The decision was offered factually and completely
- The reasons and benefits were described succinctly
- The actions to take were highlighted
It was short!
All of this occurred in the frame of the email without scrolling. Additional details, links and thanks followed.
You won’t necessarily see it coming. But when critical communications are needed suddenly, how you react and communicate says a lot about you – and if done well, tells the organization what to expect and what they need to do.
Just finished surviving a similar situation? Let me know what worked. We’ll publish it here.