Dysfunction Junction

Acquisitions can bring out the worst.

By Steve Arrants

In over 40 years, I’ve worked at startups and established companies. I’ve worked for big, I’ve worked for small. Some have been exciting, nurturing places that “got it right.” Others stumbled through without a clue. Here are some tell-tale signs that you’re in the wrong place.

We’re the old company. We don’t do that here.

This is often what you hear after you join after the acquisition. It comes from the belief that your company was bought because you do everything right. That’s not entirely true. They wanted your products. They wanted your knowledge. They didn’t want the slapdash way you track projects on a whiteboard, your Friday bar-be-cues, or your frustrating SAP implementation.

Sooner or later, you will do it their way because it works. Show them your way works better, and you‘ll succeed in their sandbox.

We don’t need planning tools.

You never know where you’re going if you don’t know where to go. At one small company, both development and marketing had great planning and tracking methods. In User Documentation…well, we had end dates that sometimes meshed with the latest date to deliver documentation. Everything was a first draft. Any mistakes would get fixed at a later revision. You can guess what happened — most mistakes didn’t get fixed.

I’m only here until I retire.

I get it. You see it just ahead of you. But that’s not something you, as a manager, tell your staff who need you to champion them to other departments. You’re also a mentor. Your attitude affects junior staff.

Don’t worry — nothing will change.

Don’t believe it. Everything changes.


Photo by Ben on Unsplash.

Tags: acquisition
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