Coaching for Managers

Keynote Speaker- Dr. Veit Etzold


  • Top managers
  • Executive boards

Duration: individual, according to agreement

Managers spend 80 per cent of their time on communication. That’s what researchers from the Harvard Business School found out from numerous interviews. But how much of this communication reaches the audience? All studies on this can be easily summarized: not much!

Why? We have forgotten how to tell good stories. Although we are capable. Because people are born storytellers. The problem is: the corporate world believes that serious communication has to be fact-heavy and hard to digest. The consequence is that media, bloggers and the gossip grapevine gain the authority to interpret the internal and external representation of the company. Because their stories are usually better.

However, when manager shy away from talking too much to the public, they sometimes do this for a reason: Many corporate leaders have made the painful experience: whatever they say and however right their facts might be, their words are turned around by the media and politics – usually because the latter have better stories. Such failed or misleading communication can cost a lot of money, just like misleading advertising or a bad speech form the CEO to the employees as part of a restructuring programme. At the same time, a good story, such as the ‘David and Goliath’ story of Apple, can make a company a lot of money. CEOs must therefore rearm themselves: with good stories!

Examples of story challenges for CEOs:

  • You’ve been in the company for 100 days. How do you capture the mood of the company, find the right tone and, above all, what story will you tell to explain your strategy? Because an understandable story that presents the strategy well, is the first step to implementing your strategy.
  • Your company is now publicly listed on the stock exchange with all the corresponding reporting norms and quarterly reports and managers and employees need to get used to new control variables, such as EVA® or ROCE. How do you explain it to them without making them fall asleep or parroting only what already is in the prospectuses?
  • You lead an energy company that has realigned its strategy to suit the new greener energy policies. The development of the strategy, together with renowned consultancies was very time-consuming and expensive. However, you don’t manage to sell your new strategy to the different stakeholders (media, politics, general public and employees). They still see you as a ‘nuclear power dinosaur’. A good story can help.
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