Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

This is just going to be a rambling rage against the machine. The machine that is THE MERGER. While I am grateful every day that I have a good job and that I work with good people, this in between phase of we aren't who we were and we aren't who we are going to be is a killer.

We have started, stopped, started and stopped again on so many projects so many times I'm beginning to lose count. On one side, we have our pre-existing management who have definite ideas of how to take the value proposition of our firm into the merged entity, on the other side, we have the mysterious MERGER company that seems to operate in stealth mode with lots of smoke and mirrors. It is a strange combination of a leadership team that seems to be much more business-direct on things, and yet, they are not willing to talk to the players in any interactive way.

Our latest start-stop-start-stop has to do with our brand....who we are as we present ourselves to the marketplace. Will we be MERGER, will we be OLD COMPANY, will we be both? What about our sub brands? what about our Operating Companies? What about in each of the umpteen countries we operate in? what about in each of the 4-5 divisions we have? These are big questions that can have big implications in how well we do in sales of our services going forward. Identity can be a big part of the equation. So recommending a focused team and an objective outside consultant participation seems appropriate. Not to mention the fact that our thinly staffed corporate teams are being run ragged just keeping up with the day to day.

But no. Response: Consultants only tell you what you want to hear (according to one MERGER leader). Well yes....unless you empower them to give their true opinion and factor it in to your decision process. If you aren't going to trust the consultant to know their area of expertise, then why the hell should you hire them. So instead, the "Board" will decide our brand, and the rest of us will execute it.

How the "Board" will come to their decision is a mystery for another day. But since I have about 100 other tasks on my list, I'm going to take a deep breath, let go of my disillusionment with this MERGER, go back to hoping for the best once we get through this painful limbo period, and move on to the next item.

Just somebody, please, tell me when I can peek behind the curtain and get a better understanding of who has their hands on the controls.


AmyBow said...

better approach - WHO CARES who has their hands on the controls. As long as you know it isnt you and you aren't responsible or accountable, let it go. que sera sera

Mama Lou said...

I agree wiht Amybow. You are trying to solve the problems of the "world" of merger here. Stop and smell the roses of what you can find and let it fall into place as the company moves ahead. It is a season of uncertainty ,granted, but you are not the only one that can solve the situation nor should you feel you the need to do so.
Celebrate the season right now and look forward to the New Year.

Susan said...

Dificult to be a caring person in an environment where you have so little control.

mkosboth said...

I have not lived through a merger like that, but I did live through a reorg. Which might be just as bad. Three individual offices merged into one behemouth (spelling?) organization and it was awful. I feel your pain. It took three years for the new organization to coagulate into something everyone could understand and get behind. I left the college in the middle of year two. That was as much as I could take. That was probably not as helpful as you were hoping for.