I have also seen examples of one other tragic mistake made when acquiring a business that was in distress. That is to take the owner of the failed business and put him or her in a key role in the newly merged company. If he or she could not manage their own business successfully, why would you think they could manage yours? I can cite a number of cases where the owner of the failed company was brought in “because of his great experience” and made the General Manager of the merged company. In most cases, the mistake was corrected before it became fatal to the merged company. However, in others, despite the fact that the merged company had totally turned bad, the owner continued to rely on the General Manager and felt that despite the significant downturn in his business, it was the outside forces of the economy that were the problem. The role of the GM and his inability to energize and organize the staff was not recognized and the company continued into a downward spiral.
So, beware. A labor crisis does exist. Our industry has a need for top talent with a whole new set of skills and greater intelligence to learn the new technology. Don’t fall victim to the warm body hiring process and bring in staff without a thorough vetting process. The top performers that you need are out there, but they will only be found if you use a comprehensive, disciplined hiring process and don’t skip any of the steps. You need to have a recruiting program that can proactively reach out to the top performers and entice them to work for you. Having a “Grade AA Team” is the only way to thrive in today’s marketplace.
Debra Thompson is President of TG & Associates. Her latest book coauthored with Bill Greif, “No More Rotten Eggs—A Dozen Steps to a Grade AA Team” has been selected by McGraw-Hill for publication in Jan 2010, but you can get your copy now. Contact Debra or Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the testing tools that will help you find the real leadership for your winning team so that you can grow in the face of the tough economy.