Mergers and Acquisitions
Leadership Team Reduces Debt Levels
and Sustains Positive Growth After Mergers and Acquisitions
One of the largest parking and transportation service corporations in North America grew significantly through mergers and acquisitions. As a result, they accrued considerable debt. Furthermore, the corporate team had conflicting views due to different cultural and operational approaches to the business.
The corporation prided itself on its entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging regional managers to be accountable for the facilities in their areas. Accordingly, the newly acquired parts of the organization expected to continue to do business as they always had. While this may have been locally advantageous, it prevented consistency and economies of scale. This set off a mindset of “us vs. them” among groups in different regions or from different parent organizations. Trust levels were low and employees were not empowered to take ownership for results (ironically, the opposite of their entrepreneurial intentions).
Despite its growth, the leadership team was not aligned in the corporation’s direction. This slowed momentum in achieving expected economies and producing future results.
The client leadership team powerfully engaged in the year-long planning and execution process to strengthen their performance and results.
The team acknowledged that they had been using their differences as excuses for not achieving their objectives, rather than viewing the diversities as assets that could strengthen their performance together. They adopted a new mindset of “We win when we trust, empower and commit to each other.” With this paradigm as a context for their work together, they were able to appreciate and tap into one another’s skills and experiences, extract the ideas of all team members, and focus their attention on their goals as a team.
In the words of the CEO, “We stayed focused on our plan. (The team) narrowed the gap between what they say they will do and what they actually accomplish.”
The corporation’s revenues were up 18%. This is astounding since they achieved this shortly after 9/11 when their competitor’s revenues were down an average of 43%.
Over the course of three years, they reduced the corporate debt levels, successfully took the company public, and sustained their growth through predictable operational results and further acquisition.
In addition to strengthening their teaming behavior, the new leaders began to shift the corporate culture from a command-and-control model to a collaborative, empowering team model. They gained respect and confidence from their investor community, their clients, and their own people.
If you want to explore how you can get extraordinary results through people and the way they think and work together, I invite you to contact me.
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