Last week I was helping a senior manager to prepare a presentation to her board of directors about a key organisational change. Her approach was to frame the proposal as ‘current arrangements work well, and this change would make it even better.’
I asked her if this was true. ‘No’, she replied, ‘the current arrangements are no longer fit for purpose, given the challenges our company is facing right now.’
I asked her which approach was more likely to get a result with her directors, the ‘things are good and this will make it better’ approach, or the ‘things are no longer working and we need to change’ approach.
Her reply was interesting. ‘I’m sure the second approach is more likely to get the directors to take action, but I just don’t want to come across as negative in a company culture that’s generally so positive’
What about you? How confident are you about telling the truth, when there is bad news to be delivered?