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Deliver the news swiftly and clearly

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

When business takes a bad turn and anxieties mount, keep the message clear, the delivery swift and your priorities right.

One example of a business that delivered the right message:

After Dupont chairman Charles Holliday saw the problems Detroit carmakers were facing and heard troubling news in Japan about business prospects, he put a “corporate crisis” plan into place:

  • Key managers were deployed to explain to staff, in simple terms, how the crisis affected the company.
  • Every employee had a face-to-face meeting with a manager within 10 days of the plan’s creation, so managers could explain what the company needed to do.
  • Each employee was asked to pinpoint three ways in which he could immediately help conserve cash and reduce costs.

—Adapted from "The right message for troubled times," Stefan Stern, Financial Times

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