We often hear following the exit of a business owner failure stories of how a process went wrong. This is not always the case because of the sensitivity of an acquisition, therefore, success stories are not written about. Importantly, there is always a consideration for the changes that are underway and confidentiality. BEC Co-Director Kathryn Orange has written a blog on a success story focusing on Exit and Acquisition. Kathryn works with SME leaders and Investors that are looking for business improvements/growth and/or have acquired businesses.
The success story we wish to share was driven by looking at the organisations future goals and checking that the existing team structure was aligned for delivery of goals.
There was early recognition that a senior management team could not be created from the level 2 managers (an interim team was in-place to manage the transition). The medium to long-term strategy was to create this new leadership team within an agreed budget. A daunting task as the budget was to promote from within and not recruit externally (delaying plans and increasing costs).
So, what happened and why was it a success in the end?
We simply spoke to everyone confidentially, shared the vision, strategy, and plan whilst understanding their personal position (i.e. time to retirement, career aspirations etc). Taking time out to listen and understand. By doing this we identified that a number of the team members wished to retire/other and were comfortable to support the new plans and suggested great ideas. By doing this we were able to upskill some of the management teams, extended the interim (where needed) and recruit a leader (to drive the new way forwards) and all within budget.
Success! Yes, post Exit and Acquisition – it can be done.
In this success story add another 4 checks into the ‘Action Plan’
- Communicate early the short, medium plans and ask the teams by each level what they would like to see change (anonymously) – understand why?
- Consider the structure and capabilities of the team to see if anyone is ready to take the next level promotion (they know how the business works)
- Set new parameters of control (approval levels, who to go to etc)
- Create a challenges and opportunities list and prioritise it – there may be some quick wins.
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