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Solve strife to sell change

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

“When I was a managing director at my prior firm in 2015, we were bringing together three disparate departments—each with their own culture and norms. Two of the three units had been through frequent management changes over the last few years, and those people felt bounced around. The third unit was being rebuilt from scratch. So there was an ‘us versus them’ mindset.

“We wanted to ensure alignment, not continue the negativity. I thought about what I had seen as a manager—what worked and didn’t work—and set three objectives for the integration: we’d get past the internal politics, we’d listen to all points of view and we’d make sure our senior folks were visible in all three departments—open and accessible to everyone.

“The toughest of those three goals was ensuring everyone felt that their voice was heard, even if their idea wasn’t implemented. But we kept at it with transparency and dignified everyone’s input.

“Within six months, employees’ productivity and success increased, intra-departmental promotions increased and our employee engagement scores increased.”

— Ryan Parker, CEO, Edelman Financial Services, Fairfax, Va.

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