The number 1 question:
"When is the appropriate time to tell the employees about the merger."
The answer was the same for all complex questions, “It depends.”
For example, if a business owner wakes up one morning and decides to sell their business, the answer is different than for the person with a five-year exit plan. The panel cautions all businesses to be very honest. Culture is often forgotten during a business transition and this is one of those “gotcha’s” that will have a negative impact..
The number 2 question:
How do we do it?
Which of course is the number one question.
The panel brought up the several ideas which included three steps:
Thoughts from the Panel
Niki Jorgensen pointed out that if you promise the employees everything will be fine, and two months later layoffs occur, the leadership will lose all credibility.
Jeff Rogers shared that One Accord has a team that reviews the culture of potential purchases. When they are planning to purchase a business, they first want to understand whether the present culture (leadership, core values, mission and more) could be compatible with their own culture at One Accord.
Brian Quint shared the importance of culture as a leadership tool. That culture before the transition must be a deliberate process. During and after a transition there will be a new culture that mixes the best (and potentially the worst) of both cultures.
All in all, the meeting went all too quickly. There was plenty of opportunity for networking and the discussion continued on after the event.
Our Panelists Included:
By the way
What would you think about being part of the development of the Business Transition Advisors culture? If you have special skills you believe would benefit the organization and the community, please contact us by replying to this email, or contact one of the board members directly.