How can you prepare your company for a change in leadership?
As a tech startup, we've been lucky to have a tight knit team that works really well off of each other. What is the best way I can break the news of a leadership change in our startup? And how can I ensure that my employees are on board and supportive of the change?
Send an email, then hide.
Seriously, your team will be taking their cue from you, so keep a positive attitude and focus on the good. Make your announcement to the entire group and stress the benefits of this change and how it will affect them - then encourage their questions. They will need your assurance while they adapt.
I assume upper management already knows about this, but if not, tell them separately from the rest of the group. They deserve that.
Be honest, and be fast; try to get ahead of the rumor mill. Hold a company meeting and pass out handouts that give a bio of the new guy and include FAQ (answers to questions such as why the new guy, how does this affect me, when does he start, etc.).
After the new guy starts, hold another company meeting to introduce him, have him speak, and take questions and answers.
I know it's an overused word, but transparency is key here.
Training and development, coaching on change leadership and how to be more flexible and agile. Online programs and ongoing training on communication and teamwork.
I think that you must be very careful in your announcement to tell your team what is really going to happen. If you sold your business, the new owner might want to make changes once the powers are transferred and may make you look like a liar by making drastic changes you did not announce beforehand. I know from experience how stressful this can be for a well tuned team.
There's a good chance that people already know the former person is leaving, and may already have opinions.
Depending on how senior the team is, you might want to involve team members in vetting the new prospect, before you announce the fait accompli. "Folks, this is Voldemort, you new boss/ team member."
I was just in a client's top managers' meeting where the hire of a new manager was announced, "We're just bringing Jack on board! How exciting!" I could see the faces around the table wilt, because several of them had had prior bad experience with Jack. "Why didn't you ask us about him?" they asked.
This is particularly prevalent because so many small growing companies disparage using best HR methods to interview, vet, and hire top people. "I can interview and hire just fine." "Our headhunter says this guy is great!" "Our top investor and board member recommended her." "He has a PhD from Harvard; I'm sure he can learn to manage."
My wife is an HR consultant who is often brought in to fire these turkeys when they don't work out. "Why didn't they bring me in on the hire?" she asks. "And during the orientation?"
That totally depends on the attitude of the person vacating the leadership role and the loyalty of those under him/her. If they say its a wonderful thing nothing bad happens otherwise it can be bad.
The question is rather general, a general answer with "its depend on ..."
If the team works well - why change leaderships? What does it mean by changing leaderships? Change management team or change owners or change leadership styles?
If you still in startup, I suppose a change of leadership's style is quite common.
If a change in management team ...than depend you are referring to internal promotion or external recruiting. - probably not suitable for startup, you should be in the business expansion mode to make such change.
If change owners - well, this will be a sticky issue where the new owners should plan for it.
Any change involve resistant and acceptance. The level of resist and accept depend on many aspects ...culture, education, pace of the work, operating procedures, performance measurement system, personal relationship ...Therefore I am not in the position to advise how to prepare the change in leadership, without the above information.
If you are the founder of the company there are a few things you have to be aware of. First and foremost the culture (values) you established will not change. So most important for business continuity and profitability is hiring a new leader who is aligned with and lives by your values. A change of culture is the key to failure. Remember culture eats strategy for lunch, every time. Second you need to realize where the is the life cycle of the company. If you grew this organization in an entrepreneurial spirit and you reached a place of maintaining and growing the business through natural growth or acquisition you need someone is is NOT entrepreneurial. Do not hire in your own image only in alignment with your values.
If that is done correctly then you can transition smoothly to the new leader who recognizes the success if based on behaviour and behaviour is based on values and celebrate that culture and make e everyone feel that this is a good place and same place to work and not concerned about a change but proud of continuity.
Be honest about why the leader is leaving because they know more then you think and be up front about things. Reflect you values and the values you installed int he company and use the values and culture as the foundation and the change in the business strategy as a focus change not a culture change. The mistake is when organizations change the strategy they say it is a culture change and it is not.
Be direct and encouraging. Make sure the rest of the team understands why the change is happening and reassure them that your mission is sound and unswerving.