Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

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

Corporate Culture

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 Martin Lau, Managing Partner, First State Stewart

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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East goes West – interview with Han Meng Chan, ADL Capital

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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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 does it look from over there? The perspective of Asian buyers / leaders on M&A in Europe and the USA

Over the next six weeks, I will be publishing a series of interviews which I and a friend of mine, Abhay Pande, conducted whilst based in Singapore. These interviews were born of a shared interest and desire to get beyond the myth and legend of Asian corporate culture and business practice and actually get some insights from Asian leaders that we have in our network. The facts are plain enough. […]

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Asian Investors -hierarchical?

The second in my series of capital flows from East to West….and the consequences for European / UK and American leaders. You will find the first here…I would recommend that you read them in the order that they are written! One of the biggest challenges for Western CEOs facing the prospect of Asian ownership is understanding the formal and informal nature of governance. There is a perception amongst many, based […]

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Asian investors -dealing with a new owner?

We are living in a period of reversals….for most of our lives, decisions have been made in the West and implemented (with mixed success) in the East. From outsourcing shared services to the Philippines and South Asia, to banks developing global platforms by buying local and regional businesses across Asia, to the great manufacturing shift to China and more recently to Vietnam, the emphasis on delivery has the remit of […]

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Combining the financial and the strategic…the unholy alliance between Takeda and TPG!

Last week saw the announcement of an attempted bid for Valeant, the serial acquirer masquerading as a pharmaceuticals company at a rather opportunistic time when the firestorm of media attention, debt levels, alleged pricing scandals and CEO ill health threatened to unhinge the business entirely. It’s not a first combination of this type…the acquisition of Boots by Alliance Unichem was financed largely by KKR in a similar sharing of interests. […]

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The real impact of disruptive innovation – fundamentally changing the future structure of organisations

Disruption is the new buzz word in business these days. There are still some organisations and sectors which resist the concept that, somewhere, in the minds of a consumer or an employee, there is an idea which will change their industry for ever….but largely, there is a surface level of acceptance. The real change behind disruption however is much more subtle, disturbing and has the potential to change the corporate […]

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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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Acquisition in an emerging market – integrating the ‘ways of working’ – an exercise in futility?

The final instalment of this series of blogs, from the perspective of a mythical CEO of a family owned business being acquired by a multinational corporate. It is based on my experience of deals across Asia and is not specific to one particular transaction. If you’d like to read the previous parts (which may make sense as they’re written in chronological order), you can access them here – Due diligence, […]

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Due diligence in an emerging market – the management interviews – lots of communication, perhaps less understanding!

Last week I explored the challenges of doing diligence on a fictitious family owned business based in Indonesia, from the perspective of the CEO (the link is here if you missed it). This week, let’s have a playful look at the next stage in the process…the management interviews, again from the perspective of the CEO of the business being acquired. This is the accumulation of a number of my experiences […]

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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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Considering culture as part of post acquisition integration – ‘nice to have’ or something more?

Anyone who has spent any time managing a post acquisition integration will recognise that culture is a, and in many cases, the critical factor which can determine success or failure. This is not something new…and yet it still comes as a surprise for many acquirers. Despite this widespread knowledge, much confusion still reigns around what cultural dimensions to consider, how to find them and measure them, and then most importantly, […]

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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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