A few weeks ago my team took-over a company. When we initially meet them they were naturally disappointed that they had been taken over, but seemed very cooperative and open to a mutually-beneficial relationship. However when we meet with them on Wednesday I could sense a lot of hostility that was not present when we first meet them after the takeover. While I understood their frustrations of no longer having full autonomy, none of our actions towards them indicated that we were distrustful. We had always been open about our Long term plan and our desire to grow their company and therefore I could not understand where this had come from. I realized that on top of all of our other problems this week, we would need to come up with a way of showing our subsidiary that we have their best interests at heart so that we could mend our some-what dysfunctional inter-team dynamics.
Maybe they believed that we were going to sell them as soon as they started lifting themselves off the ground and making a big profit? I don’t see how they would still believe this after we told them that it was in the best interests of both teams to not do so, and that it would reflect badly on us if we were to sell. In Christensen (2010), Frederick Herzberg is mentioned as he believes that the most powerful motivator in our lives is the opportunity to learn and grow in responsibilities, contribute to others and be recognized for achievements. Perhaps this is where my team went wrong? I think that we did a poor job of motivating them as we didn't convince them that they would still be able to grow and achieve their potential under us.
Over the course of the semester my team has learnt that it is not enough just to ‘trust’ in our judgments when making decisions, but that we must also have sound logic behind our choices. This got me thinking that perhaps this is why there was a level of skepticism when it came to the open distrust of our subsidiary company. It makes sense that they would need concrete evidence of our commitment to them in order to trust us. Christensen (2010) talks about using culture as a management tool which is what we subconsciously did when we met up with our acquired team on Thursday. We tried a new approach which I believed worked much better: instead of telling them that they could trust us, we showed them. We showed them that our goals weren't too different from there’s by passing on advice and showing them what our plans were so that they could see that we have no intentions of doing anything that would be harmful to them and their SHV. Hopefully when we meet with them this week we will be able to tell whether or not our new approach has worked!
Reference: Christensen, C. M. (2010). How will you measure your life? Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 46-51.