Roger thought carefully about who his audience was and how he would communicate his message. He would break down his two hours into sixty minutes of presentation and sixty for questions and answers.
Roger wanted the focus on interactivity, on an exchange of views. The colleagues in the room should get to know each other. Naturally, and to make a strong impression.
Roger prepared a lively and wide-ranging presentation, but he limited himself to ten slides per topic plus a few backups. He wanted his messages to be brief, compact, and clear, knowing that his colleagues would be taking in a lot of information over the five days.
After preparing a draft of his presenentation he asked for feedback from his direct reports. The atmosphere on both sides of the Atlantic was tense. Roger wanted to make sure that his team neither over- nor undersells itself. The Americans were particularly nervous about how the two companies would be integrated.
Only a very few colleagues were willing to discuss the fact that many departments in the company were in total disarray concerning integration. And although there were a few instances where integration was going fairly smoothly, in some areas the atmosphere was moving towards a kind of Cold War between the two cultures.
The American engineers were speculating about what the combined product portfolio would look like. They wondered (actually were worried) about what that would mean for their internal work processes, including what engineering tools they would be asked to use.
And most importantly they were preoccupied with the question who would get what resources (meaning bodies, employees) for which projects. Budgets are always a source of internal debate. The Americans were concerned about which side, or which teams, would get what financial backing.
For these reasons, Roger wanted to present the situation just as he and his team see it. His goal was to be honest, competent, and results-oriented. He believed in his people, in their ability, and in a good future. The Germans and their engineering world, however, he was not familiar with.
How will Roger’s presentation go? Will the Germans react positively, negatively or mixed?