One of the biggest challenges faced by RGM leaders is how to communicate changes to strategy to the Executive Team, or the “C-Suite”. When not communicated the right way, I have experienced “C-Suite” meetings go awry. Unfortunately, this can discredit the RGM leader who was presenting their work, and as a result they not only lose confidence in the room, but they also feel demotivated and stressed. Yes, I am speaking from personal experience.
The best plans, when communicated correctly, can be adopted quickly and widely across the company. After years of experience, I have unlocked how to communicate changes to Executive Teams by laying out the story and facts the right way, so that others can understand what is happening and what the expected results will be.
Every good RGM “Story” has these critical steps:
A) Align the room so that the Executive Team understands what you will be presenting, and to show that you (the RGM leader) also are aware of the situation at hand. The situation is both a summary of what is currently happening in the market and addresses the decisions that need to be aligned upon. This part of the story should also concisely address any complications that may be faced moving forward.
B) Show the options that you have considered. Don’t just go in with a single plan, executives need to know that you have done the work and looked at several options. What is not needed here are the detailed pages that show your work for every option, which can be in an appendix to your materials. All the Executive Team really wants to know is that you have thought the problem(s) through and have considered multiple angles of attack.
C) Pick the best option to go into further detail. Show why you picked it as an initial recommendation and compare key metrics from each of the options that were considered. Usually, the key metrics need to be in a language that the Executive Team is familiar with, but they are often similar across companies.
D) Discuss the “Change Management” actions that need to be addressed once alignment happens, a key component. Gaining alignment is often a large challenge, but where plans often fail is during the change management actions to get every team involved.
By following this simple approach, you can overcome the communication challenge that RGM leaders face when presenting to the Executive Team. I was fortunate to have figured this out relatively early in my RGM career, and as a result we at Cornerstone Capabilities use this approach consistently when working with our clients.
In the 2nd part of this blog, we will go into further detail of the 7 Key Metrics with examples to help RGM leaders strengthen their selling stories.