Thursday, October 26, 2006

Boo! Scary stuff just in time for Halloween

Halloween. Time for demons, ghosts and things that "go bump in the night"...and scariest of all - Acquisitions! Mergers, acquisitions, layoffs, etc..... all can be just as scary as all the usual terrifying things we associate with Halloween, but unlike the hordes of zombies that chase us in our nightmares, we CAN control our situation and the outcome of business changes.

This post takes a more personal approach than most because my company is in now in transition. I work for a Joint Venture between two parent companies, and one parent is buying the other out. From a business perspective, it makes sense and creates a whole slew of new opportunities for the business, but this comes at the price of change. Many times such acquisitions force people to change the way the work, where they work, or even IF they work. This is scarier than Freddie Kruger on his worst day!

The trick here is to overcome fear with fact, hysteria with reason and panic with patience and understanding. While most people fear such changes with good reason, the fact is that you can impact the outcome, or at least how well you manage it.

As individual players, we can control how we respond to such changes - the best respected players don't trade in rumor, slander or fear-mongering - they just step up and get it done! Stay focused on the job you do, and look for opportunities to help in the transition. If you just pull into your shell you will miss opportunities to show the organization all the value you can deliver.

As leaders (yes, every one of us can be a leader) we can impact the outcome of the acquisition by stepping up and addressing issues head-on. Communicate the FACTS, squash the rumors, talk with your team and peers to help them see how they can positively influence the outcome.

Be clear, even if you are the ideal team play in this, you may end up out of a job, but would you rather be a victor or a victim?

Look across your network - do you know anyone who is undergoing such transition? If so, pass this post along to them. Otherwise just e-mail this post to yourself for a rainy day.

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