Posts Tagged ‘crisis management’

Leadership Communication Is Key to Successful Change

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Insufficient communication is second only to fear of change or failure as a major stumbling block to successful change in organizations. According to a global survey of nearly 1,100 managers conducted by New Catalyst, LLC, it’s essential for leaders to “constantly communicate” before, during and after attempting to implement a significant change.

Constant communication is the way to gain “employee support and trust,” which is essential for a change “to stand any chance of success,” say the authors of the survey, Kelly Nwosu and Nick Anderson. I totally agree. As I emphasize to clients during my speaking and consulting engagements, it’s more important than ever to communicate regularly–even daily–during times of change and any other period that might be described as a crisis.

New Catalyst found that there are three primary messages for leaders to focus on in order to gain employee support for upcoming change. Those three messages must be clear explanations of the why, the how and the benefits of the change.

As a participant in one of my storytelling workshops for sales managers observed, “People aren’t afraid of change per se; they’re afraid that they aren’t prepared for change.” When a leadership repeatedly reassures everyone by explaining 1) the reasons for the change; 2) how it will be accomplished (including the specific role for each division, and cascading down, each person); and 3) the benefits of the change for the organization and everyone affected by it, the odds of success skyrocket.

What’s the Story on Micky Arison?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

“The Wall Street Journal” published an interesting but totally unsatisfactory explanation Monday of Micky Arison’s strange silence and elusiveness following the Costa Concordia’s tragic shipwreck off the coast of Italy. “Where is Micky Arison?” the newspaper asked, and it’s a question that must have been nagging at thousands, if not millions, of people around the globe as they read about the horrible outcome of the captain’s recklessness.

As the company’s ships lay partly submerged in a gut-wrenching position, divers carefully and heroically began the somber and dangerous task of searching for and recovering victims, and salvage operators pondered the best approach to safely recover the fuel and either right the ship or begin cutting in apart in place.

In the meantime, the ship’s captain and the CEO of Carnival’s Italian unit continued pointing fingers at one another, both shifting responsibility for the disastrous route the ship followed. All the while, Micky Arison, CEO of Carnival Corp., spoke nary a word about the tragedy, not even to offer condolences to passengers who survived the frightening, chaotic event, nor to those who lost loved ones, many of whom are still unaccounted for nearly two weeks later.

Owner of Carnival Cruise and a number of other well-known cruise lines, such as Holland America, Princess Cruises and Cunard, Carnival Corp. should have a well-thought-out, detailed crisis communication management plan at the ready, and it should be readily available to the captain on every ship.

Overall, cruises have proven to be an extremely safe form of transportation, particularly considering the huge number of passengers carried each year without a mishap. But no organization should be without a plan for handling unexpected events. To think  company doesn’t need an up-to-date action plan to quickly and effectively handle crises is at best ill-advised. When thousands of customers’ lives and limbs are at risk, it’s extremely careless, which is also an apt description of Mickey Arison’s behavior.

The WSJ’s story is at