Moving in means finding common ground. Identifying some new house rules and accepting that some of the old ways and habits don’t work anymore as we are learning to live together. Moving in also means de-learning something and learning something new. It means trusting someone else to decide or come up with a joint and better plan for how to organize things. Sometimes you must accept that sharing is better, but sometimes also difficult. Letting go and changing behaviours isn’t easy – it may come with a bit of frustration.
In business, we know that mergers don’t necessarily create value. One of the key reasons is that “soft issues” become hard. I have worked at companies that were consolidators in their respective sectors. It is my experience that if you don’t deal with what matters, things will remain divided and not united.
The key question is what matters? What matters the most is people. People in all shapes and forms. During the recent merger of Kredinor and Modhi, we have tried our best to “preach the gospel”. Here are some of our lessons:
- Make sure to find a few key statements that express the essence of the strategy. For us it is two things: “Solve the problem and not only the case” and “Don’t add to the burden”.
- Never underestimate the benefits of repetition. Talk about strategy over and over again.
- Define some key values and make them important. Define which behaviours that are expected and give feedback.
- Change the “jersey”, make sure to blend teams and take away the old merch. Find some success stories and celebrate the wins.
- Make sure that everyone is up to speed. Inform widely and frequently.
- Max out Leadership, Engagement and Collaboration. The better we are on LEC, the less we need in terms of policy, procedures and instructions.
- Fix the hassles and don’t let blisters become wounds.
- Keep up the momentum. Speed is a good cure.
The list could have been longer and more scientific. However, we have found it useful. But keep in mind that it isn’t easy. Especially as you must work hard on multiple fronts.
What has made me particularly happy about our merger is speed. Our deal was approved the 1st of October. Our new company values were rolled out internally on December 8th. Our new logo and visual identity were launched on December 21st. Before Christmas, we were united as a company at the same address. All teams blended. The old jerseys gone. Already, 25% of managers have concluded 9 full days of leadership training as a merged entity.
But, moving in isn’t easy. There are the small things that may become bigger.
The gravel in your shoe. The new attraction that suddenly wasn’t so interesting after all. The feeling of giving up the favourite coffee cup or the sofa that was so comfortable. Moving in means letting go and accepting something new. But remember that friction is needed for traction, and grit is what takes you there.
We are on our way. We have a clear vision and a strategy to deliver.
We help you make it!