Last week I helped design and facilitate a meeting between one of my clients and a group of important customers. This was the fifth meeting of this group over the last couple years. The entire LT (leadership team) had turned over in less than six months. And yes, I was the only person, between my client and my team, to have attended all the meetings. To top it off, the entire organization and industry are being completely redesigned and defined.
While I was confident the meeting would be beneficial, there was a bit of concern on how the customers were really going to respond and react to all the changes. They had become close to the past leaders…the leaders had earned their respect and trust.
From both parties perspective (new leaders and key customers), the meeting was a huge success. What made the difference out of the gate was the fact that the ideas, advice and input that this group of customers had given in previous gatherings was still on track and moving forward. Yes, this group of customers actually helped provide continuity of this key business unit.
Secondly, the new LT had done their homework preparing in advance and was actively listening, asking questions, probing, and writing down responses. The customers took notice and quickly embraced the new LT.
The final thing it accomplished was to accelerate the new leadership team’s understanding of this market…And by having the new team there together, it helped align them and their priorities to take this business to the next level much more quickly.