Part 2: Political
When you acquire a business, the value of the acquisition is not achieved by purchasing a business – the value comes from integrating the two businesses together.
The process of merging two businesses into one creates disruption that affects employees on all sides. During disruption, with change happening all around them, there is a nervousness amongst employees associated with the uncertainty of change.
Employees who are “in production” creating revenue for small and mid-size businesses can mostly be assured that their position is secure. Businesses of this size are acquired for their future potential, and that potential relies upon the revenue-generating employees. However, middle, and upper management has typically invested time and effort achieving their current position, and there is a temptation to make decisions that either protect their position or improve it.
We have discussed office politics during integrations before, and continue to recommend that leadership should use our five points of action to reduce political decision-making:
- Give clarity to decision making
- Demand accountability from your management team
- Reprimand political behaviors
- Promote urgency and communication in decision making, over process
- Be available to listen and to help. Do not be isolated from employees
Removing or reducing politics in integrations is a responsibility shared by all employees: those who are aware of negative-bias decision making should tell leadership; and leadership should be accessible to people, open minded enough to accept what they are hearing, and willing to act upon the feedback.
None of us are immune to bias. It is human nature to consider “What’s In It For Me? (WIIFM), when making decisions. We all have our own interests, personal goals, egos, aspirations, and agendas that influence decision-making. However, leadership and management must minimize these influences upon themselves and others to ensure the long-term future of the business.
If you need help with planning, setting up, announcing, or delivering an acquisition integration, contact us.