Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

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

Complex transformation

The bad news about deals….they expose structural weaknesses when everyone’s looking!

I’ve always thought about transactions as being quite different complex transformations from the ‘business as usual’ activities. There’s been a train of thought for a number of years which looks to create separate governance, resources, processes and methodology in post-acquisition integration. This is based on the requirement for different skill sets and the potential for distraction from the ongoing business. As we enter a period of increased M&A activity again, […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

The three things that will determine success or failure in your deal

I was asked this question by a client this week and it caused me to think carefully. In many ways, the question is a little anodyne…as we all know, post merger integration rates amongst the most complex of transformation projects and coming up with a three part solution does not reflect that complexity.. But for what it’s worth, here are mine: (In terms of context, I’ve positioned this from the […]

Continue Reading →

Motivation is, by it’s very nature, personal!

We’ve just come back from climbing up to the crater rim at Mount Rinjani, on the island of Lombok, Indonesia. At 2671 metres, it’s a serious walk / scrabble and with the different weather challenges of tropical rainforest at the bottom and relatively cold at the top(at least for us thin blooded tropics dwellers), challenging for all of us on different levels. It was a great family experience and one […]

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

The subject matter expertise…of implementation

I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to the creation of a new subject matter expertise…focused on the skills and requirements of  implementation or ‘getting things done’! In every part of commercial and creative life, we are faced with a significant contradiction. There is almost universal acceptance that ‘implementation’ is where things go wrong. Yet most of the focus, attention, and resource (financial and other) in any complex transformation project seems to rest with the design and […]

Continue Reading →

Dealing with inertia successfully – the example staring us in the face!

I wrote last week about inertia as the true killer of innovation and change. One or two of you were kind enough to comment and provide some further ammunition on the topic…which led me to try and scratch around to find examples of where the inertia of the 80% had truly be galvanised into action. Having a ginger beer or two with my friend Sanjeev Kumar in Hong Kong last […]

Continue Reading →

Think like a theatre director – and become an excellent programme manager

It’s rare to see a connection between the world of performing arts and the world of programme and project management….until you start to look at people’s non work based cvs. At that point, you start to see an incredible richness of experience, talent and focus dedicated towards the arts. So the question for me is, are there some aspects of the performing arts which help develop or naturally lend themselves to the […]

Continue Reading →

The project based organisation

Following on from my blog last week, I’ve had a few conversations with colleagues around the ‘projectisation’ of corporations, a ugly but appropriate phrase which Thomas Martin uses to explain the next stage in corporate development. If you remember, what I tried to address was the perfect storm convergence of a disengaged and therefore unproductive workforce, a increasing pace of change and a significant uplift in complexity. So, how to deal with […]

Continue Reading →

The perfect storm which has the potential to challenge the corporate world as we see it today

I have spent the last few days at the Symex Conference in Palembang, Sumatra, speaking and listening to a bunch of bright, articulate and challenging speakers. It has lead me to a conclusion about a significant challenge that corporates around the world face over the next few years….a convergence of issues or perfect storm which have the potential to change the corporate landscape as we know it. Let me set […]

Continue Reading →

Program managing post merger integration – different from other complex projects?

I’ve had a number of very heated conversations with colleagues about the nature of post merger integration in recent weeks. The two positions are easy to understand; on the one hand, there is the perspective that a deal is just another complex transformation project with all the usual challenges. On the other side of the debate, the argument goes that post merger integration represents a wholly different type of challenge […]

Continue Reading →

Post merger integration – in every way, an oximoron!

There’s an magnificent irony to the expression ‘post merger integration’ which, as the M&A rollercoaster starts to speed up again at an alarming pace, I wanted to share with you. In fact every part of that phrase can be challenged… Post – the reality as any practitioner will tell you, is that the work starts a long time before completion and potentially announcement. Many studies have shown that if you start […]

Continue Reading →

Right-sizing the culture…to dimensions that make sense!

Whenever we talk about culture, it’s almost always in macro economic terms…regions, nations, industries, functional areas all seem to be easily (if often wrongly!) defined by specific and identifiable cultural traits. These traits enable us to ascribe labels to groups of people which may be relevant in terms of description but in terms of achieving any kind of change add to the confusion rather reduce it. In my opinion, the […]

Continue Reading →

Have pity for program leaders of a post merger integration – they need your sympathy!

Imagine the following situation: You’re given the challenge to program manage a post merger integration, carried out in the public eye, with all of the details (cost, complexity, high level strategy) broadcast to the world. After a few months, you discover that actually there were a number of other people in the frame for the work, who for one reason or another, couldn’t take up the challenge! You’re given a thousand pages of diligence, written […]

Continue Reading →

How M&A destroys value – it’s all about the small things!

I’m working on a couple of transactions at the moment around the region and one of them in Indonesia led to a moment of insight which I wanted to share. As consultants, we are frequently accused of looking for the big impact change…the magic bullet which will dramatically transform the project / or open the stakeholders eyes to a new way of doing things. In the mergers and acquisitions area though, […]

Continue Reading →

Pray for some divine intervention – M&A may be coming back!

Whisper it quietly but it seems that the M&A market is finally returning to some very decent volumes again (http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2014/04/07/1821102/ma-is-back-ish/). No doubt the headline transactions will be the ones that everyone is focused on, not least because the old scourges of government intervention in the case of Alstom (or pure protectionism by another name) plus aggressive valuation in the case of Astra Zeneca are being played out in public. The […]

Continue Reading →

Agile – A change in methodology or something much deeper and altogether more challenging?

I’ve just spoken at an excellent conference on project management in KL. There were some truly interesting seminars on project recovery, risk, the danger of optimism in projects, and of course Agile. It is extraordinary what sort of reaction this topic generates amongst proven, seasoned project management professionals and the range was certainly on display at the conference. I saw everything there from fear and loathing, to contemptuous dismissal, to […]

Continue Reading →