Sell the destination not the plane: how to communicate strategy effectively

- 3 mins

Recently, there have been various exciting announcements of mergers and acquisitions across numerous sectors including Pharmaceuticals, Media and Technology.

This includes Warner Brothers merging with Discovery, Takeda acquiring Shire Pharmaceuticals, and most recently Virgin Media merging with O2 here in the UK.

While the physical symbols of these transitions, such as the company name and logo, can be changed in a matter of minutes, the hearts and minds of management and employees can lag significantly further behind. This can have serious ramifications for business and its employees.

When communicating the new structure and strategy, the temptation is often to approach the situation rationally, presenting the desired shape of the organisation and the rationale for the deal.

However, this rarely succeeds. What’s needed is an emotional approach. They need to understand how it will help make a difference for their customers, the business, and themselves.

When people fall in love with the destination, they will become multipliers for the transformation and change because they are personally invested in the outcome.

Here are three activities that can help leaders to communicate the new vision for the business in a way that will engage and inspire teams.

The power of story

What excites you personally about the desired future state? Why do you want to succeed professionally and personally?

Leaders need to be clear what it will take to succeed. So, take some time to think about these questions and build the answers into your communications.

Write a Maxim

Write a statement of intent that conveys what the transformation and change programme will deliver. This should be short and to the point, something that everyone can remember and get behind.

Manifest the future

Imagine it’s 2025 and the business is recognised as one of the most desirable organisations to work for. In teams, consider why that is the case and how that became a reality.

For more advice on how to activate transformation and change, download our guide here.