Thursday, May 31, 2007

mergers, acquisitions and raw emotions

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)... i'm sitting in one (merger).
The company which I left a year ago, also is experiencing one (acquisition).
With globalisation, the dynamics of communication is changing, competition is driving businesses to reposition, acquire, merge or go bust.

Businesses exist for two reasons, emotional and profits.
Emotional - the need to add value/contribute to something
Profits - for the business to sustain and grow (the main cause of M&As)

Okay, i'm not going to share my thoughts on why businesses need to change their business models and so forth.... but more about how the change would affect the people

Imagine this,

You may be in the phase of your career where there is going to be an uptake after building a few years of solid foundation, you may have just gotten married too, paying off some debts for the wedding and honeymoon, servicing your mortgage of your newly-wed home.....
At the office, you have your career development plan all mapped out for you, frequent dialogues with your boss, set your SMART objectives......

You arrive at the office as usual, after lunch, everyone receives an e-mail, "we are proud to announce that the Board of Directors have agreed to handover XXX to her new parent, ZZZ...."
The phones start ringing, people start scrambling, all sorts of chit-chats along corridors/breakout areas, the topic of this "new company" will be the topic for lunch for months to come.....

A few weeks go by, your boss either gets replaced in the new business model, or is assigned to another department, you are told to report to him and to do business as usual, but your boss cannot commit to you any longer about your next step..... basically, nobody can promise you anything. Loyalty, years of service... no leveraging here.

You start to imagine the worst or not, people around you start to imagine the worst or not, more speculation, more negative energy, some positive energy, some excitement, some fear.... this is what uncertainty invokes in us, human beings. Your debts, your career, your family, your house, your holiday, basically all the plans you have... are more or less hanging now, just like the development plan you have discussed about at the beginning of the year.

How are you going to deal with this very real scenario?