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Team Resilience In the Midst of COVID-19: Turbocharging Your Organization Against Disruptions

22 Jul

The uncertain times, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, have spur leaders to reflect on what kind of organization, culture, and operating model they need to put in place. This is to avoid returning to previous patterns of behavior and instead, be able to embrace the next normal.

In this rapidly changing environment, people in organizations need to respond with urgency, without senior executives and traditional governance slowing things down. Waiting to decide, or even waiting for approval, is the worst thing to happen. Today, some level of coordination across teams and activities is crucial for the organization’s response to be effective.

Getting Ready for Business Resilience

Business Resilience is a management approach that integrates many disciplines into a single set of integrated processes. It is an enterprise-wide term that encompasses Crisis Management and Business Continuity.

Business Resilience enables organizations to face a wide range of risks—risks that can cause long-term harm, from a financial penalty to reputational damage. This is further emphasized with the global economy greatly affected by COVID-19, a pandemic that has overturned business and rattled the entire global business environment.

Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic

Leaders across industries cannot treat the Coronavirus pandemic like any other event. COVID-19 is unlike any other event. No single executive has the answer. In this rapidly changing environment, organizations need to respond with urgency. There are several initiatives that can be undertaken and integrated in Strategy Development. One of these initiatives is to build Team Resilience through the creation of a Network of Teams.

A Network of Teams is a cohesive and adaptable network of teams that are united by a common purpose. It is empowered to operate outside of the current hierarchy and bureaucratic structures of the organization.

The 4-phase Approach to Creating a Network of Teams

The Network of Teams needs to be created in phases for it to be effectively cohesive and adaptable.

Phase 1: Central Team with Response Teams. Phase 1 begins with a Central Team launching a few primary response teams very quickly. There are several key considerations that must be underscored in Phase 1.

Organizations must create teams that will tackle current strategic priorities and key challenges facing the organization. The model that is to be built must be flexible and capable of shifting when mistakes happen. The network must be created to learn, using the information to update actions and strategies. It must spur experimentation, innovation, and learning which is done simultaneously among many teams. There must be spontaneous learning in the face of challenges and opportunities at the individual, team, and network-wide levels.

Team leaders must be creative problem solvers with critical thinking skills, resilient, and battle-tested. Having teams that can respond to the dynamic demands of the external environment is one of the strengths of the network approach.

Phase 2: Hub and Spoke Model. The Hub and Spoke Model emerges when additional teams are launched to address rapidly evolving priorities and new challenges.

After the initial set of teams are created, leaders must shift toward ensuring that multidirectional communication takes place. There should be steady coordination with the central team hub in a daily stand-up meeting. Central Hub must make sure that support teams are using first-order problem-solving principles.

Leaders must take the role of catalyst and coach. The primary goal is to empower teams and support them at the same time, without micromanaging.

The next phase is Phase 3: Hub and Spoke with Subteams and Phase 4: the Network of Teams. The Hub and Spoke Model evolves into a Network of Teams when peripheral teams start connecting and collaborating directly with another.

With the Network of Teams, all self-organizations are turbocharged ready to face any disruptions the business has to encounter.

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Integrated Cost Management: An Organization’s Prescription for Lower Cost

20 Jul

There is a general belief among organizations that a large percentage of a product’s costs are locked in by design.  It is assumed that little can be done once the design is set.  This assumption has influenced cost management programs across diverse products’ life cycles. As a result, the focus during the design phase is Cost Reduction and Cost Containment during the manufacturing phase.

Yet, organizations that operated in a highly competitive market and demanded aggressive cost management showed that costs can be aggressively managed throughout the product life cycle.  Various cost management strategies or techniques may be used to increase the program’s overall effectiveness. One of them is the Integrated Cost Management.

A Purview on Integrated Cost Management

Integrated Cost Management is every organization’s prescription for lower cost and higher profits. It is the 21st business approach to achieving Cost Management efficiency.

Integration is necessary for Strategy Development as it can promote the achievement of the company’s profit objectives. In fact, there are major benefits to Integrated Cost Management. One of which is lowering of overall costs throughout the product life cycle.

Integrated Cost Management can facilitate a steady decrease in costs all the way to discontinuance.  In fact, it can result in an annual cost reduction of about 17% during manufacturing, savings that exceed 30$%, and a designed-in cost of below 70%.

Achieving this requires an understanding of the Integrated Cost Management Approach.

The Integrated Cost Management Approach

The Integrated Cost Management Approach focuses on the integration of cost management techniques which can lead to higher levels of cost reduction and superior overall performance.

The Integrated Cost Management Approach takes into consideration 5 Cost Management Strategies.

  1. Target Costing. This is the technique used or applied during the design stage.  It is a feed-forward mechanism that enables the retooling of the design of new products to reduce costs while maintaining the desired level of product functionality and quality.
  2. Product-Specific Kaizen Costing. This is a technique that enables the rapid redesign of a new product during the early stages of manufacturing to correct any cost overruns.  (Note: Kaizen is the general term for Continuous Improvement and often associated with Lean Management.)
  3. General Kaizen Costing. General Kaizen Costing is a technique that focuses on the way a product is manufactured with the assumption that the product’s design is already set. It is generally effective in addressing manufacturing processes that are used across several product generations.
  4. Functional Group Management. This is a technique that is used to break down the production process into autonomous groups and treat each as a profit center.
  5. Product Costing. Product Costing is a technique that coordinates the efforts of the other four (4) techniques by providing important, up-to-date information.

The 5 Cost Management Strategies enable organizations to better manage costs throughout the product life cycle, with just one (1) technique taking place during the product design and the rest during manufacturing.

The Key Takeaways

The application of the 5 Cost Management strategies has its key takeaways. These can be used as a guidepost in its application and a model of general concepts that organizations may consider.

One key takeaway is significant savings can still be achieved with short life cycle products and aggressive cost management focused on product design.   Taking to note this key takeaway, we have to consider that as the length of the manufacturing phase of the product’s life cycle increases, the opportunity for cost reduction increases.  Further, there is a need to explore the value of integrating multiple cost management during manufacturing.

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The 12 Areas of Post-merger Integration (PMI): Your Guide to Starting PMI the Right Way

17 Jul

Post-merger Integration is a highly complex process. It requires swift action as well as running the core business activities simultaneously. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a successful PMI Process. However, careful planning focusing on the strategic objectives of the deal and the identification and capturing of synergies will help maximize deal value.

Because of the complexity of the PMI process, it is of utmost importance that organizations—both the Buyer and Target, the integration team, and integration manager—have a guide that will provide them the detailed requirements of the process. The Post-merger integration framework has a structured approach that can direct attention to important integration areas to maximize deal value and achieve Operational Excellence. The inability to focus on priority areas can be a waste of resources, time, and investments.

The 12 Integration Areas

The Post-merger Integration framework drives a structured approach to identify important Integration Areas to focus on during the transition. There are 12 Integration Areas that need to be prioritized.

The first 2 integration areas within the full checklist:

  1. Finance & Accounting (F&A). This is an integration area that is focused on establishing the financial sustainability of the new organization. Financial & Accounting needs clear instructions and templates for financial reporting at Closing. The better the information, the few surprises there are due to poor reporting or absence of data. Financial & Accounting has 9 sub-areas that are essentially important for organizations to have a good appreciation and understanding of.
  2. Legal. The role of the legal function does not end at the Closing. Many legal items need to be listed and considered immediately after the Closing. Special events, such as acquisitions of minority shares or the formation of joint venture companies must be considered. Legal is one vital area in building the sustainability of the new organization.

The next 2 integration areas within the full checklist:

  1. HR & Personnel. Integral in the Integration Process, HR & Personnel is a key area in integration. Management of the HR Integration Team is a primary responsibility of the Buyer’s HR manager. There are 5 sub-areas under HR & Personnel that must be given important consideration.
  2. Corporate Communications. Successfully using the Buyer’s and Target’s corporate communication functions for announcing and explaining PMI progress is a net sum of many factors. Essentially, communicating PMI progress requires the effective use of the corporate communication functions of both Buyer and Target.

The third 3 integration areas within the full checklist:

  1. Information Technology (IT). The goal of the ICT Integration Process is to link the ICT networks of the acquired entity with the Buyer’s corporate ICT network. It is necessary to facilitate access to systems and services provided by the Buyer and collaborate with business/market areas. Often, the integration process is let by an ICT individual from the Buyer’s corporate/company ICT or business/market area ICT.
  2. Corporate Culture. Corporate culture has increasingly become a critical factor in integration success, particularly in cross-border M&A. An M&A deal often impacts on corporate culture, both on the Buyer’s and the Target’s side.
  3. Sales & Marketing. This is a difficult sensitive area to be changed in the integration process. Sales & Marketing contribute largely to organizational financial stability, hence primary consideration must be undertaken.

The last 5 PMI integration areas within the full checklist:

  1. After Sales & Service. This is increasingly becoming important in value creation. It is an added-value that strengthens Sales & Marketing capability to sustain the market.
  2. Supply Chain Management (SCM). This is undertaken at a later phase of integration as the fundamental change requires detailed planning and calculation.
  3. Production. This is one critical area where more experience and planning are required in decision making.
  4. Technology. The extent to which the integration focuses on Technology and R&D depends on the M&A strategy. If the purpose of the acquisition is to gain technology or strengthen existing capabilities, then this is when the integration will focus on technology.
  5.  Synergies. This an integration area that can mean new strengths and opportunities from combined knowledge and experiences.

Organizations must take adept steps in undertaking the Integration Checklist as this will enable both the Buyer and the Target to reach the most strategic state necessary for the 12 Integration Areas.

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Strategy Development: Taking the High Road to COVID-19 Response

17 Jul

COVID-19 is shaping a “New Normal”—a Low Touch Economy that requires a strategic response.

The world is changing. Forced isolation and social distancing restrictions have been put into place with the advent of the COVID-19 health crisis. This is not expected to end soon but is expected to have a lasting effect on the world. In fact, a new generation of consumer behaviors is already being shaped.

The new world will not be better off or worse. It will be different. During this period of influx, some businesses will thrive in this change and reach accelerated success, while others will struggle to find their footing in all of the chaos. The Low Touch Economy is here.

The New Normal

The post-COVID-19 era will have an economy shaped by new habits and regulations based on reduced close contact interaction, tighter travel, and hygiene restrictions. While managing the current health crisis is the first priority, companies must start adapting its strategic response to the mid and long-term ripple effects of COVID-19.

Businesses, to survive, must learn how to effectively respond to COVID-19 that is marked with plenty of ups and downs and economic uncertainty. There will be fundamental shifts that are here to stay and there will be industries that will be turned upside down. Until there is a vaccine or herd immunity, the base case scenario will be continuous up and down of disruptions for the coming 2 years. Strategy Development now calls for business to make the right strategic approach.

The 3-phase Approach to Strategic Planning

During turbulent times, businesses must have the agility to switch from defense to offense. Taking the 3-phase approach to Strategic Planning will prepare organizations for the Low Touch Economy.

Phase 1: Protect

The first phase is focused on acting now to protect and run the business today. It is basically responding to the crisis and protecting the business. The primary objective of Phase 1 is to ensure the continuity and stability of the business despite the ongoing crisis.
This is best undertaken when employees and customers are grappling with one basic emotion and that is fear. The organization is faced with a declining revenue with prospects of liquidity freeze. Unfortunately, time horizons at this phase also remain uncertain.

When these scenarios are happening, the organization must strive to undertake strategies that will both protect the business, as well as ensure its continuity and stability. One strategy that must be undertaken is to put the safety of employees and customers first. With the advent of COVID-19, this is considered the most urgent thing to do and the most important. Once this has been taken care of, senior leaders can set up a war room where they can tackle immediate challenges.

The war room discussions must shift from just being reactive to being proactive when it comes to crisis management. At this point, model scenarios that are developed must be more aggressive than any of the team can think of. It has to be aggressive in the sense that it is capable of protecting the business from the disruption that COVID-19 is greatly inflicting on the organization.

At this time, during this phase, this is the best time too to invest in Innovation Management and R&D. While others are stalling, the most innovative companies spend more on R&D during the recession. The other 2 phases are Recover and Grow. Phase 2, Recover is focused on accelerating through the recovery and Phase 3, Grow is focused on achieving growth in the Low Touch Economy.

In what phase is your organization now? Are you Protecting? Recovering? or Growing?

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In the Midst of COVID-19, Is Your Supply Chain Resilient?

15 Jul

Supply Chain Resiliency is the capability of the Supply Chain to be prepared for unexpected risk events. It is the Supply Chain’s ability to respond and recover quickly to potential disruptions. It can return to its original situation or grow by moving to a new, more desirable state in order to increase customer service, market share, and financial performance.

Resilience is currently an increasing concern in the Supply Chain caused by globalization. The Supply Chain is globally being subject to diverse types of disturbances. The largest disruption so far in the global Supply Chain in modern history was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011. With the rising level of logistical complexity, the resiliency of the Supply Chain has not kept pace. These disturbances need to be handled in the right way, compelling the use of tools and approaches that can support resilient Supply Chain decisions.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, resiliency in the Supply Chain is further emphasized.

Understanding Supply Chain Resilience

The risk of Supply Chain disruption is increasing.  A recent study by Aon Risk Solutions showed that the percentage of global companies reporting a loss of income due to a Supply Chain disruption increased from 28% in 2011 to 42% in 2013.  The MIT Scale Network Study further showed that many large companies are unable to create contingency rules and procedures for operations during a complex, high-risk event.

According to the MIT study, approximately 60% of surveyed managers either do not actively work on Supply Chain risk management or do not consider their company’s risk management practice effective. Managers have been found to be lacking in a framework that will guide them in the deployment of risk management practices. In fact, it has been noted that there is little understanding of risks resulting in a lack of knowledge of what kind of framework fits a particular Supply Chain dynamics.

For Supply Chain Management to keep up with the increasing level of logistical complexity, there is a need to reconfigure the Supply Chain.

The 5-phase Approach to Supply Chain Resilience

In 2005, Cisco had difficulty coping when Hurricane Katrina struck. The Supply Chain performance level was not maintained to cope with the sudden surge in orders for new equipment to replace damaged telecommunication infrastructure.  The Cisco teams cannot locate all products in the Supply Chain or understand the financial impact of emergency sales. However, in 2011, that was a turning point for Cisco. Cisco had deployed a very solid Supply Chain resiliency program that addressed the impact of external vulnerabilities and the aftereffects it caused to the Supply Chain.

Cisco has succeeded by executing a 5-phase approach to Supply Chain Resiliency.

In reconfiguring its Supply Chain to make it more resilient, Cisco first identified its strategic objectives.

Phase 1: Identify Strategic Objectives. The first phase is focused on identifying competitive priorities for particular product categories. It matches priorities with Supply Chain capabilities.

Through Strategic Planning, Cisco was able to build its competitive advantage which depended on its ability to match global opportunities to outsource production with global market opportunities. This is known as the Cisco Lean Model.

Phase 2: Mapping Supply Chain Vulnerabilities. This focused on understanding the company’s vulnerabilities. Supply Chains are vulnerable on many fronts—political upheavals, regulatory compliance mandates, increasing economic uncertainty, natural disasters, etc.  Being aware of the vulnerabilities will enable the organization to come up with the appropriate design to achieve Supply Chain Resiliency.

In undertaking the second phase, Cisco focused on supporting a responsible global Supply Chain characterized by product differentiation, high value, and high margins. Mitigation measures were also implemented to make a resilient Supply Chain.

With the 5-phase approach, Cisco was able to achieve a resilient Supply Chain capable of effectively managing disruptions. It has also prepared them in addressing risk management warning signs and deploying the appropriate reactive tools to every kind of significantly disruptive event.

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Cannot Close that Sale? Check-out Problem-centric Selling!

10 Jul

Nowadays, sales reps who get to close the sale are those sales reps who get to discover the customer’s real problems. With life getting more hectic and people always on the rush, customers only prefer to spend more on the phone with sales teams who “gets it.” These are the sales reps who do not only get to discover the customer’s real problem but also get to help them problem-solve in new ways.

Yet, a great number of salespersons miss closing the sale and reaching their quotas. In fact, in 2018, Salesforce found that more than 57% of sales representatives are expected to miss quotas for the year. This can be a challenge more so with organizations developing resolutions that revolve around increasing sales metrics and implementing new technologies.

The traditional method of selling is not enough anymore today. The first thing a client needs or wants does not necessarily solve the core problem. A new method is now necessary that will require salespeople to first diagnose the real problem before coming up with the solution. This comes with a new Customer-centric Design.

The Future of Sales: The Upcoming Trends Salespeople Must Watch Out For

A survey was conducted on more than 2,900 sales professionals worldwide. As a result of the survey, 5 Top Trends were revealed that are shaping up the world of sales. Two of these Top 5 Trends are changing sales mandate and the emergence of a Data-driven Sales Playbook.

  • Trend 1: As sales mandate change, teams are falling short of rising customer expectations. Technology is changing expectations on how companies should interact with consumers. It is now the salespeople who are on the frontline who are carrying the onus to deliver when customers demand more personalized consultative engagement. As a result, customer satisfaction has become the most-tracked sales Key Performance Indicator.
  • Trend 2: A Data-driven Sales Playbook is emerging. The ingenuity of salespeople with data-driven insights have been amplified. With the richness of data available, this has led to more effective methods of lead prioritization and forecasting.  There is now an increasing need for sales reps to prioritize leads based on data analysis rather than on intuition.

The effect of these Top 5 Trends has further been amplified with the increasing number of missed sales. Today, the traditional method of selling just does not work anymore.

A New Approach  to Selling: A Problem-centric Selling

The traditional method of selling is focused on determining the prospects’ needs. This does not work anymore as the first thing a client needs or wants does not necessarily solve their core problems. There is now the need to shift to Problem-centric Selling.

Problem-centric Selling is an approach that diagnoses problems with as much specificity as possible. Often, the real problem is not well articulated by the potential buyer. With Problem-centric Selling, the specific customer needs are well identified thus enabling salespeople to better offer the right product or service.  It is thus important to integrating the philosophy of Problem-centric Selling into your Sales Management approach.

The Problem-centric Selling is anchored on 5 core elements.

Problem diagnosis starts with knowing and understanding your customer and their problems. This is where the first core element is centered on: Know the key facts about the customer.

Salespeople must be able to get a description of the environment of which the buyer works, the processes they use, the structure of the organization, the tools they have, the current goals of the business, and other information about the buyer and the business. The facts gathered must go beyond the basic name, size of the company, and the industry the business is in. This way, the salesperson can get to establish the context for where the customers’ problems lie.

The other 4 Core Elements are essentially important in guiding every salesperson to master the Problem-centric Approach and hit that sale with a successful deal.

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The Key to Maximizing Deal Value: Post-merger Integration (PMI) Roles & Responsibilities

8 Jul

For Post-merger Integration (PMI) to be successful, it is critical that we have clearly defined, appropriate, and comprehensive roles and responsibilities.

Post-merger Integration is a highly complex process. It requires swift action as well as running the core business activities simultaneously.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a successful PMI Process. However, careful planning focusing on the strategic objectives of the deal and the identification and capturing of synergies will help maximize deal value.

While it may be a highly complex project, a successful PMI may be achieved and greater deal value can be expected. Right from Day One of PMI, it is already important that the Buyer and Target have the right people in place.  The success of the integration project depends on leadership, project management capabilities, and selection of the right personnel to the work in teams/streams.

Roles & Responsibilities in PMI: Why the Need for Emphasis

So, what are the requisite PMI roles and responsibilities?  Clearly defined roles and responsibilities are a fundamental factor that can make a big difference between gaining deal success or failure.

The Integration owner, together with the Integration Steering Group plays a critical role in defining the integration path of the organization. In Leadership Development, their role in the First 100 Days is a fundamental factor in achieving success or failure.

  1. Integration Owner. The Integration Owner is a member of the Buyer’s management team. He/she is basically the owner of the integration phase. It is the responsibility of the Integration Owner to oversee the integration phase, as well as the transaction/purchase phase.
  2. Integration Steering Group. The Integration Steering Group is the governing body of the integration phase. The specific role of the Integration Steering Group is to supervise the work of the Integration Project Manager and the Integration Team.
  3. Integration Manager. The Integration Manager is the Project Manager. He/she is the one in charge of the day-to-day management of the integration. If the Integration Manager has little or no project management experience then active hands-on support is required from the M&A Project owner.
  4. Integration Team/Stream. The Integration Team/Stream consists of an Integration Manager and its members. Streams are areas of the organization split into district parts but which are aligned to the overall strategy. Integration streams are often decided after the first appointment of the Integration Manager. Each stream is often headed by the Integration Stream Manager.

The Critical Role of the Integration Stream Manager

The Integration Stream Managers are selected from among the Buyer’s managers. They play a vital role as they are responsible for the development and implementation of detailed plans.

The Integration Stream Managers act as the team builder and introduce the team members to each other.  They ensure that the team members have all the information and tools needed for the task. They clarify goals, targets, timetables, reporting, and other important matters relative to the integration.  As Integration Stream Managers, they are expected to ensure that everyone in the team understands the goals the same way and is committed to making it happen.

In certain circumstances, it is possible that the Integration Stream Manager may also be Target’s manager.  This happens when Target’s manager has specialized knowledge or attributes necessary for the integration.

Undertaking the Post-merger Integration Process the right way can maximize deal value. On the other hand, it can result in the greatest potential loss of value when not done right. Being able to select the right people is the key.

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Taking a Strategic Move to Post-merger Integration (PMI): Financial Integration

6 Jul

Our framework Post-merger Integration (PMI): Financial integration is every organization’s guide to achieving the financial alignment of both Buyer and Target.

Post-merger Integration is a highly complex process. It requires swift action as well as running the core business activities simultaneously. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a successful PMI Process. However, careful planning focusing on the strategic objectives of the deal and the identification and capturing of synergies will help maximize deal value.

Another critical factor in PMI is pursuing Financial Integration. Financial Integration is the alignment of the finance functions of the Buyer and Target.

Why Financial Integration?

Immediately from the start of the deal, the new organization gets to be dependent on the Finance function to ensure a successful integration process. Synergies must be captured in order to maximize deal value and provide combined organizations with the flexibility to grow.

When pursuing Financial Integration, there must be an integration of business operations, streamlining of the internal control environment, provision of accurate and consistent financial reporting, ensuring tax compliance jurisdictions if the deal is cross-border, and the founding of interim legal structure and business processes. When setting the right direction for a streamlined finance function, it is important that the organizations must already tackle critical matters while still in the early stages of a deal.

The establishment of clear reporting lines must already be agreed upon and set up. Accountability for financial operations, management reporting, control of expenses, and accounting closing procedures must already be established and clear between the Buyer and the Target. These play a vital role when the organization undertakes a Strategic Planning geared towards the development of a Financial Integration Strategy and Plan.

The Financial Integration Strategy: What We Need to Know

The Financial Integration Strategy can only be defined and crafted only when immediate areas that require action have already been identified. The Strategy must be developed based on 8 key areas of focus.

  1. Overall Organization. As the first key area, this focuses on the overall set up of the Financial Integration processes. This starts with establishing the reporting lines from Day One of the PMI process. This also includes the establishment of a transition plan that is aligned with the process and systems migration plan.
  2.  Internal Controls Environment. Once the overall organization has been set up, it is important that the internal controls environment is established. This will entail setting up the control procedure from Day One. It is of importance that the controls environment is established since this will mitigate risks and ensure regulatory compliance.
  3. Cash/Treasury. This is the third key area that looks into the cash position of the organization. It is at this point wherein the organization must be able to plan out its cash flow requirements and be able to gain assurance over adequate funding. This key area is very critical when it comes to the financial sustainability of the organization as it ensures that treasury policies are aligned, cash controls are established, cash forecasting and cash management have commenced, and there is an alignment of investments, foreign currency, and any hedging arrangements.

Aside from the 3 focus areas, the development of the PMI Financial Integration Strategic Plan must also give serious consideration on Financial Statements, Procurement, Financial Planning, Cash Controls, and Tax. These 5 focus areas are essentially important as it ensures that Financial Integration essentials are met.

When this is achieved and the 8 key areas of focus are integrated into the Financial Integration Plan, the new organization gets to prepare itself towards a larger scale Business Transformation in the future.

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The Devil is in the Details: Your Primer to a Lean Culture

3 Jul

Culture is essential today in helping employees and management survive in today’s environment. Survival has become a strong word today. Without culture, everyone in the organization would act or behave differently. No one would be able to anticipate someone else’s behavior, and no one would understand why people behave the way they do. When this happens, the organization’s performance would be very chaotic.

What is culture? Organizational Culture is a learned process and is developed by the organization as a response to the working environment established by the organization’s leadership and management team. It is established in all organizations, regardless of whether its development is guided or unguided. Either way, culture can have a positive or negative impact on the organization’s performance.

A Take Away at Corporate Culture and a Lean Culture

Corporate culture is a set of standards shared by members of an organization. It produces behavior that falls within a range that the organization considers proper and acceptable. Having the right culture will increase the organization’s chance to survive.

What is a Lean Culture? Lean Culture is a total system and represents a complete and comprehensive culture change in the organization. A Lean Culture enables lean implementation and represents a completely new way of managing the organization through Lean Management.

The development of a Lean Culture starts with a Lean Culture Framework.

The Lean Culture Framework

The development of a Lean Culture starts with a definition of a Continuous Improvement Lean Culture. As a starting point, the Lean Culture Framework consists of 5 essential elements.

  1. Definition. This element ensures that the organization gets to properly define what Continuous Improvement Lean Culture really means for the entire organization. When this is undertaken, improvement becomes a part of the organization’s culture.
  2. Translation and Integration. The second element ensures that culture is well translated and integrated into values and related behaviors. It is important for organizations to understand that strong values can guide the behaviors of people.
  3.  Strategic Applications. This basically refers to the strategic application of cultural elements. If problem-solving is one of the cultural elements, the strategic plan of the organization can take a problem-solving approach to achieve key targets.
  4. Diligent Development. This element focuses on the diligent development of a comprehensive culture. This ensures the alignment of programs with a long-term problem-solving culture of improvement of the organization and eliminates conflicting messages.
  5. Reinforcement. The fifth element ensures that reinforcement is undertaken with regular recognition. When this is done, the organization can expect to gain more improvements.

The five (5) elements of the Lean Culture Framework must be properly structured to ensure its effective implementation. In today’s business environment where Competitive Advantage and Operational Excellence is gaining ground towards sustainability, organizations just need to learn how to operate smartly and effectively. This can be done when a Lean Culture Framework is established and implemented.

The Devil is in The Details: The Implementation

Culture change typically is not greeted with open arms. To be successful, a Lean Culture change initiative must have a few DO-NOT-PASS-GO items. A few of these are leadership involvement and engagement, cultural dynamics, and education. Implementation of a Lean Culture Framework may seem easy but it is not. It requires care, patience, a bottomless energy source, and an iron will to succeed. It can be of advantage if organizations are well guided in undertaking a culture change. A well developed and thought-of plan can highly help organizations go through culture change with just a few bumps along the way.

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How to Maximize Deal Value in Post-merger Integration (PMI): The PMI Process

1 Jul

Post-merger Integration (PMI) can be complex, time-pressured, and unfamiliar for most organizations. It is a highly complex process. It requires swift action as well as running the core business activities simultaneously.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a successful PMI Process. However, careful planning focusing on the strategic objectives of the deal and the identification and capturing of synergies will help maximize deal value.

It is inevitable that some elements of information will be withheld from a Buyer pre-deal. Further, not all the synergy benefits originally identified in the deal will prove to be achievable. The foremost challenge for management at the onset of the PMI process is to identify how value can be captured from the newly combined organization via synergies and cost savings.

Hence, undertaking the PMI Process requires a clear roadmap that will take the post-merger integration journey toward a more strategic and effective direction. This is where Strategy Development comes in.

The 5 Core Components of the PMI Process

Organizations must have a good understanding of the integration process to ensure that target results are achieved and that expectations are met. There are 5 core components of the PMI Process organizations must follow to make the process more successful where the deal value is achieved and realized.

  1. PMI Structure. This is the first component of the PMI Process that establishes the stages of the integration process. It consists of sub-projects that take place before and after the closing or change of ownership.
  2. Management Alignment. The second core component, Management Alignment is focused on aligning top managers of both Buyer and Target. For the first time, top managers of the Buyer and Target become part of the same organization. It is at this stage wherein there is a change of priorities and commitment of top managers. The new management team must be aligned and committed to the same goal.  This way, they convey the same message to the new organization.
  3. First 100 Days. The First 100 Days is where the PMI Process starts focusing on making changes. The First 100 Days is the maximum period people can live with the uncertainty regarding the new organizational structure and decision on redundancy. This core component is highly critical as this paves the way towards a smooth transition to a new organization.
  4. PMI Project Management. The fourth component is focused on budget planning and management. It is at this stage wherein the preparation of the first estimates of integration costs during the transaction or purchase phase is undertaken.
  5. Kick-off Meeting. The fifth or final core component is the Kick-off Meeting. Starting teamwork is its main focus. Participants are brought up to speed on events in both predecessor entities and the joint strategy.  This is the avenue to provide instructions, guidelines, and templates. A Kick-off Meeting is typically a 2-day session including the time to socialize.

The Red Flag Warning in Post-merger Integration

When going through Post-merger Integration, we can expect some red flag warnings.  These are disturbances that may warrant such a red flag warning.  As organizations go through the deal, there will be critical issues on personnel and customers that will arise.

One critical issue that may raise the concern of the Integration team is the possibility of losing your key personnel. Losing your key personnel can cause a dent in any organization. At this point wherein integration is happening, the more the support of the key personnel is of utmost importance. Losing them would be a great loss.

Aside from red flag warnings, there will also be key considerations organizations must take note of during integration. Being aware of these will prepare them as they move on forwards to achieving a successful deal.

Interested in gaining more understanding of the PMI Process? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Post-merger Integration (PMI): PMI Process here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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