Fast Fixes – Lasting Learnings

Case Study: Leading through a sudden Merger

Organization: German service business in pharmacy/chemistry

Situation: A sudden company take-over results in merging two business departments on the spot and also causes layoffs due to double job occupancies. Seeking our advice the head of department is looking for our support on how to better cope with this highly emotional situation. She also needs our input and ideas for stabilizing the feelings and performance of the remaining employees and for motivating them for their upcoming assignements.

Fast Fixes: In this rather dramatic change situation the first important task for the manager is to deliver this unpleasant message in a clear, timely and trustworthy manner. In our coaching sessions we concentrate on planning and rehearsing the process and sequence for individual interviews in order to prepare for the employees´ expected emotional reactions, fear, aggression, resistance – and to show leadership in this difficult situation. Accepting, dealing with and expressing her own emotions helps her in her leadership role and results in being able to develop a positive outlook on the future.

Lasting Learnings: Matured in her role clarity and security, the head of department has grown in her leadership skills as well as her personality. It was particularly important for her not to lose contact with her employees, especially in turbulences and hard times, to appreciate the past and simultaneously let it go. Although it seemed like a rocky path it was possible to turn this unpleasant change into a meaningful evolutionary step for all involved.

Methods: Executive coaching, management tools (u.a. emotional reactions in change processes, role clarification, crisis communication, layoffs)