On any given day, there are approximately four new Merger and Acquisition deals to announce. Every….single….day.
Yet it’s estimated that 90% of senior and middle managers are psychologically unprepared for the change in status and organizational structure that would occur following a merger (Harvard Business Review).
That’s the backdrop the serves as a prelude to every Integration. It should be no mystery to then witness the chaos that ensues at the workplace when the smell of change is in the air.
The popular theory for this lack of success is clashing cultures. There’s no doubting the challenges involved in combining two entities, but the fundamental problem is not the change, but the uncertainty of change. For some reason, there’s an informal strategy of under-communicating as a way to “protect” the employees from the upcoming changes. But, as a wise man with orange hair and lightning bolt painted on his face once said, despite efforts to insulate them, “they are quite aware of what they’re going through.”
Communication stops. Vacant offices and cubicles appear. An informal grapevine becomes the source of information sharing. There is nothing quite so disruptive as a vacuum of information. It’s estimated that in this most uncertain of times, the average employee spends as much as 20% of the workweek doing nothing but fretting/worrying/obsessing about what may or may not happen to their current status (Cabrera, Wishard).
You may be familiar with this feeling ~ it’s a holdover response from our days as kids when we were told to “wait until your father gets home.” Just get it over with man!
There is, however, another option.
1. Accept that change is an inevitable, indomitable force.
2. Enjoy the ride.
We all have the ability to adapt to change, but only if we are actively involved in the adaptation! Manage yourself instead of trying to manage the circumstances – the result will be a whole lot of “doing” instead of “waiting.” Enjoy the difference.
John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder of the HR Hardball™ Straight talk, no-nonsense approach to workplace issues. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn for more samplings of the Hardball message.