It was my first “actual” trip since the pandemic. On the morning of day three, I obtained a textual content from the CMO of a consumer of mine for the previous 13 years. My solely consumer, in reality. I managed a crew of 120 individuals who have been the model’s digital AOR.
“Can u speak tomorrow morning?”
The decision got here, and it was swift. The main points are unimportant, save for the truth that the model was consolidating all its businesses beneath a single holding firm, one to which we didn’t belong. 13 years of partnership terminated, accompanied by six months’ discover and a transition interval.
I saved asking myself: How might they do that? They love us! Our work is so, so good. I’ve identified a few of our shoppers for over a decade. I’ve been to their properties, I’ve met their youngsters. We have been companions! Not the everyday consumer/company relationship. It was like a divorce between two individuals who nonetheless liked one another.
After the preliminary shock and denial interval, I needed to shift into the acceptance section and create a plan to maneuver ahead. When you’re going via the identical factor proper now, I encourage you to not beat your self up and to do the next 5 issues.
Be as sincere as attainable along with your crew
Everybody could have tons of questions and also you received’t have all of the solutions, and that’s okay. However the extra sincere you’re, the extra you can be trusted to do what’s proper. Think about weekly standing conferences with the crew, in addition to weekly replace emails to your administration and finance individuals. Everybody will (or they need to) respect it.
Mourn the loss
It’s alright to cry. However take into account placing a while boundaries across the pity get together—it shouldn’t go on for months.
Transition with dignity
Transition in essentially the most skilled, thorough and honorable approach attainable. Insist that your crew combination all essential supplies, doc every part and deal with everybody on the brand new crew with respect, even when they don’t present you an identical.
Have a senior-level undertaking supervisor oversee the whole transition operation, because it requires extra rigor than you could assume. You owe all of this to your shoppers, your crew, the work and everybody’s fame. It received’t be enjoyable however simply do it.