Following a joint venture or merger, it is imperative that the energy and focus which was invested up until the closing of the deal is transformed and continued. The transformation requires a focus on human relations as much as financial indicators: managers and high performers in emerging markets need to understand that their input and experience are valued in the new company. The risk of defection in the first 6-8 months are high, as two corporate cultures must be integrated, and the critical task of developing new supply chain and sales protocols are negotiated.
It is imperative to ensure that the expected value of the project is being generated. It is too easy to lose motivation and focus in the hectic first year, achieve some easy financial targets, but then progressively lose site of the synergistic goals expressed in the merger intent due to the normal friction and stress of business life.
Our experience and services in this area are often creative, and engineered for maximum impact. Some of these include:
- Board-level representation. A classic solution involving consultants is to place them on the board of the new company. This approach has the benefit of putting a trusted, objective resources on the board of a company. It has the disadvantage that unless the board functions properly, the recommendations made by the consultant are often easy for management to ignore.
- Classic business performance audits. These are typically implemented at regular intervals, and include monitoring of ISO, balanced scorecard, lean management, business plan targets and other protocols. Our staff can either implement the audit, or accompany the audit and act as follow-on or stay-behind support for the company in question.
- Executive mentoring and support. Very often, the Ukrainian or Russian management team (to take a common example), may find itself bewildered and offended by changing reporting protocols, a different corporate culture, and different expectations. The role of the consultant is to act as a mentor, sounding board, and friend in this situation. The consultancy can involve specialised assignments, such as reporting and monitoring protocols, or it can simply involve discussions on corporate culture, decision-making, how to handle certain requests, etc.
- “Mystery Customer”. We support industrial and retail (B2B and B2C) joint ventures in determining how effective a merger is in certain areas, such as customer support, contracting, complaint handling, etc. Our staff are placed with certain real customers, and initiate contact to determine the effectiveness of certain processes and staff responses. This can extend into physical site reviews, store visits, etc.
- Crisis Management: In case things really go south, we help managers and other stakeholders resolve their differences and generate a rapid-action plan to solve the problems, or turn around the situation.