Contributed by Eden Gillott, an EO Accelerator participant in Los Angeles. As president of Gillott Communications, a strategic and crisis communications firm, Eden helps companies protect reputations and build trust. We asked Eden how she guides companies to navigate difficult internal communications challenges and minimize brand damage. Here’s what she shared:
As entrepreneurs, we enjoy spending our time building. We build products or services that change the world; we build processes to improve our performance; and we build teams to make our dreams become a reality.
In EO, we are no strangers to overcoming Verne Harnish’s concept of “Valleys of Death.” To overcome these, we know that we need to change. But what happens when the changes required to achieve our dreams aren’t appropriately communicated?
Navigating an internal crisis
That was the situation I found myself managing as I counseled and guided a company in navigating an internal communications crisis recently after turmoil erupted over a surprise change in leadership. Management was criticized for letting the hiring committee select candidates hastily and in secret. The Board approved the choice, and the new CEO was announced without explanation or context.
As you can imagine, this didn’t go over well with employees, who immediately began demanding answers. But it wasn’t until key performance indicators (KPIs) tanked that management addressed the issue.