Coaching for Managers

Keynote Speaker – Coaching for Managers

For

  • Top managers
  • Executive boards

Duration: custom, by agreement

According to interviews conducted by researchers at the Harvard Business School, managers spend 80% of their time communicating. But how much of this communication stays with its recipients? The studies on this are conclusive and easily summarised: not much at all!

The reason for this is simple: that despite being born storytellers, we as humans have forgotten how to tell good stories. Unfortunately, a myth has proliferated in the corporate world that communication must be fact-heavy and formal in order to be taken seriously. As a consequence, media, bloggers and the gossip grapevine gain the power to put their own, more powerful spin on the company’s internal and external communications. Simply, their stories are usually better.

This, in turn, creates a negative cycle whereby managers shy away from speaking to the public. Many business leaders have faced the painful truth that whatever they say and however correct their facts might be, their words are twisted by the media and politicians to fit the more interesting stories of the latter two groups. Such failed or inaccurate communication can have significant costs, just like false advertising or a misjudged speech from the CEO 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. This highlights the need for CEOs to arm themselves appropriately.

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, choose the right story to explain your strategy? An easily understandable story that presents the strategy well is the first step to implementing it.
  • Your company is now publicly listed on the stock exchange, with all the reporting norms and quarterly reports that go along with it. Managers and employees need to get used to new performance measures like EVA® or ROCE. How do you explain all of this without sending them to sleep or parroting what can already be read in the company brochure?
  • You lead an energy company that has rethought its strategy in line with new, greener energy policies. The development of the strategy, which was carried out together with respected consultancies, was very time-consuming and expensive. However, you haven’t managed to sell your new strategy to all of your stakeholders (media, politics, the general public and your employees). They still see you as a ‘nuclear power dinosaur’. A good story can help.

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