Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

the day to day experiences of a consultant operating in weird and wonderful client situations

Change management

Inarticulate Ramblings is merging with an Agile Gorilla!

Good morning / afternoon friends, ex-colleagues, family members (!) and random folk who have an interest in the world of consulting and mergers & acquisitions in particular. I’ve been remarkably quiet for quite some time…this is not due to a lack of thought / interesting experiences etc but the development of the next stage in my M&A journey. My new venture,  The Agile Gorilla is the result of the above merger. Please […]

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Interviews with Asian Leaders – what did we find?

A first for iROAM (inarticulate Ramblings of a Management Consultant)! I have asked my co-inteviewer to give his perspective on the interviews we conducted. Abhay Pande made some comments below which I wanted to share with you. My friend Ben de Haldevang and I spent a fair bit of time over the spring and summer of 2016 talking to a number of Asian senior executives, across several sectors, about their […]

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East Goes West – interview with Clement Woon

East Goes West is a series of podcasts focused on the challenge of Asian businesses coming to Europe and the US. Abhay Pande and conducted a series of interview with senior Asian leaders to understand a little more of the cultural complexity that exists across the Asian landscape, recognise the key differences and start to think about what an Asian owner might expect of a European and American  business. The […]

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How would you approach change if employees were given a vote?

A few years ago I was involved in the merger of two UK law firms, one with a focus on London as its main operating base, the other more regional in its operations.  One of the conditions for the deal to go through was 100% approval by the partners. In terms of numbers, we were talking about 124 people. Imagine having a hurdle in a project where, before any implementation […]

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Leadership in transactions – staying close but not too close!

With thanks to Toby Tester who suggested that I write something on this subject. Up until now, I’ve spent a lot of time writing about the challenges of programme leadership for the post deal integration process, with all its complexities and more importantly, opacity arising from the peculiarities of the situation; lack of access to information, business case based on assumptions which cannot be validated until the deal is completed, […]

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Culture as part of an acquisition – is it worth anything?

My focus in my last blog was to address some of the myths that exist, particularly around the thorny subject of what might constitute a cultural assessment. To be clear, I believe that these are good things to do…they can be one of the most powerful activities you can do in an integration to create momentum and change. My challenge relates to the methodology and process. This week I want to address […]

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The uncomfortable reality for CEOs today – the ‘incremental’ growth strategy is no longer acceptable

Everywhere you look these days, seismic shifts are taking place. Whether it is in: the burgeoning M&A marketplace where whole sectors are undergoing the sort of change that used to be once in a generation, or major established organisations declaring transformational intent which is nothing short of revolutionary (for employees, shareholders and analysts) or CEOs, imbued with the private equity spirit, are embarking on radical performance improvement within companies or […]

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Speaking in riddles – the unnecessary complexity of corporate lingo

 The more time I spend in consulting the more obvious it becomes; far from corporate terminology being an enabler of understanding, it is in fact a blockage. Anyone whose changed job knows that part of the steep learning process is learning the language. This is as much a part of the culture of a business as are the colour of its walls and the myths and legends that it carries. […]

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A new breed / identity of buyer from Asia – leading to a different result?

Fascinating times in the mergers and acquisitions market place with the number and size of the transactions unprecedented since 2007…a remarkable turnaround. What is most interesting is that for the first time in a while, the objective external observer can compare and contrast two very different types of buyers: The corporate European and American buyer whose motivation to do deals has been driven by the following factors: An unprecedented (at least […]

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Collective or collaborative? What’s the best approach?

 The issues raised in a number of my recent blogs have led me to ask the question, is it better to use the power of the collective or the engagement of the collaborative in complex transformation. The nature of global corporates these days has changed with the increasing visibility, transparency and vigilance generated by regulators around the world. Each of these regulators bring different perspectives and pet requirements…but there are […]

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The big myth in post acquisition integration

If there’s one consistent message that I’ve heard over the last 15 years of doing post acquisition integration, it’s this:  Big deals are more difficult to integrate than small ones  Whether it’s the investment bankers / accountants / lawyers / consultants or Heads of Corporate Strategy, this message is probably the one thing that everyone agrees on. Complexity is directly correlated with size…for the following reasons: More people requiring more effort […]

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‘Practice makes perfect’ – a model of implementing change

Last week I wrote about the interesting interaction between these three dimensions as three different strategies for implementing change. This week I want to write one particular model of implementation, which I’ve called the ‘Practice makes perfect’ model. As you may remember, the traditional method (in a Western context) looks like this: Let’s now think about some variations on this theme, and in particular what to do when you come across a […]

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More evidence of the link between culture and M&A success

Many of you will already be aware of my focus on culture in M&A and it seems that it’s becoming more mainstream to talk about these matters.. Note the recent commentary in the FT on Holcim and Lafarge which tries to downplay the cultural dimensions…perhaps part of the problem is a blind acceptance in the media around business case as opposed to delivery capability! http://www.ft.com/cms/s/3/d1cc9938-cbec-11e4-beca-00144feab7de.html#axzz3UcoE3fgH The article below is a […]

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Policy, process and practice – the three dimensions of implementation (1)

I’m working with a client on a transaction in one of the larger markets in Asia. As often happens, the chance to work with some highly motivated and able individuals leads to some new ideas. Whilst in a team meeting, this model came to my mind and I wanted to share it with you. The challenge for any organisation in an acquisition is to understand what the triggers / levers […]

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Changing your organisation – using the science of ‘segmentation’

As the UK election looms, in what looks to be one of the closest elections in many years, I’m drawn to speculating what the new swing vote category is going to be called…we’ve had ‘Worcester Woman’ from Tony Blair and ‘Basildon Man’ from Margaret Thatcher some years ago so what next? ‘Portsmouth Pensioner’? The grey vote appears to be a major battleground ‘Teviot Teenager”? Does the momentum of the Scottish […]

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The changing face of the organisational structure…as defined by the new generation of employees

An interview recently conducted with Gary Hamel on the BBC World Service. Please click on the link below Peter Day; World of Business – interview with Gary Hamel This is worth 30 minutes of your time….I promise you. The key points from the interview: A call for a more dynamic approach to organisational structure and the commensurate implications for shareholders. Personal engagement of customers and shareholders in the lives of […]

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Lets stop talking about winners and losers in deals

I’m working on a couple of integration projects at the moment in various parts of Asia and, as often happens when you’re immersed in something, a sudden moment of clarity arises which is worth capturing and sharing.  One of the challenges for an aspiring CEO and his / her integration director is a recognition that M&A is not like some kind of military battle or occupation! Thinking of M&A in […]

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The death (…and reincarnation?) of HR

To say that there’s been a diatribe on the subject of HR on these pages is perhaps an understatement…and my reassurances that some of my best relationships are with HR professionals has probably fallen upon deaf ears, despite the truth of that statement. You know who you are, my HR friends. Like many aspects of life, it’s the things about which that we are most passionate, that we are equally […]

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What we can learn from the creative arts….!

With thanks to Robert Bolton, it seems that the Economist and I are on the same wave length…or perhaps they saw my blog and thought it was a good concept! I can but dream!! Below is a link of the article from the Economist: http://www.economist.com/node/21629377/print And below is the link to my article! https://bendehaldevang.com/2014/09/29/think-like-a-theatre-director-and-become-an-excellent-programme-manager/ On holiday, more next week.

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