Scenario: Takeover

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation: In the midst of a corporate problem that deals with developing a business development strategy for an organization with declining business, the company is purchased by a large conglomerate

Tags: WIAL Action Learning

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Comments (9)

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    MB

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    Legalities of contracts aside, I would set a meeting with the person(s) who originally hired me to run the group, and, if possible, the new department manager (or other decision maker). I would ask them to review whether the groups’ needs remain the same, or if they want to redefine “the problem” and move in a different direction.

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    Sofia Georgiadou

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    I would expect to hear from the sponsor or problem presenter. If nothing heard, I would open the next AL session by taking a pause to ask the team how is the problem we are discussing being affected by the organizational developments. I would ask the team to describe the problem and refresh why it is important and what the expectations are.

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    SarahDavisDubai

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    This is an opportunity to re-engage with the sponsor to see how to go forward. Dependent on the outcome of this meeting to also ask the group to take this as a problem forward and how the takeover impacts on the work already completed and how to go forward.

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    BecciWalker

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    I completely agree with both MB & Sarah. We should check in with the sponsor and see whether the problem remains the same, and whether the timing of our project remains appropriate. We may need to consider whether to put the project on hold until the dust has settled. Or alternatively, as Sarah said – redefine the problem (with either the sponsor or the group) to one which is important given the organisational changes that will be taking place.

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    ShobaCh

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    I am of the same mind – the first action would be to speak to the sponsor to understand the situation. Even if the session were to go ahead, people’s hearts and minds might not be in the right place. I would highlight this to the sponsor and together we can work out the timing and the focus of the AL sessions

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    Chris Gripton

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    I would also check sponsor/presenter if they have had contact with their respective counterpart in the new business. Actions completed to date may no longer apply, next planned session will have no benefit to the group, or the business. I would think there is no value to continue with the addressing the current problem as there is no known pathway or direction from the new owners (assumed at this point). An opportunity to continue with the next AL session?, to review and solidify the actions going forward now knowing of the takeover. This then can be presented to the new owners for possible opportunites for this business going forward. The best possible position would be to have a representative from the conglomerate part of this next AL meeting. Now, in involving someone from the takeover company in the next planned session will also enhance the use of Action Learning and allow them to see the value of the Action learning process and then in turn, be introduced into the large conglomerate from that session.

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    Arend

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    As an Action learning coach I should go to my client on forehand, if he/she is not involved in mij AL group, to ask him/her what he thinks the impact is on our appointments concerned AL coaching.

    If it looks that this change wil have strategic impact on our process I will ask:
    “Do you think we can bring this new situation, and the impact it has on our process, in the Action learning group as a situation we have to solve on forehand?”

    I can imagine doing smarter and better business is always important and specially even more important in this situation. So I should ask ” What he thought would be the impact in the new situation”.

    I suppose his answer brings in a view and problem we can use in the next AL session.

    Suppose the client says it has impact so he/she stops with AL, I would ask: Why do you want to stop? and secondly: Don’t you think doing smarter and better business is an important goal for the new owner and will have impact on how the new owner appreciate him/her?
    So isn’t it even more important to proceed?

    (I realize I do a lot of assumptions in scribing a possible script, but somewhere in this conversation he’ll give a solution to proceed and if not I’ll come back later)

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    Scott

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    I would meet with the sponsore to determine if the the problem still needed to be addressed due to the takeover activity. Based on the sponsors feedback I would suggest that a session could still go ahead to deal with the problem at hand. If the problem was no longer apparent due to the takeover I would suggest still holding the session to obtain some positive actions for the business and employees as it transforms during the takeover.

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    DrBea

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    I too would start with the sponsor and see how the takeover impacts proceeding with the Action Learning sessions. Given that we are given the green light –

    I would start the next session with the team by asking them to each write down what they believe the real challenge is given the shift in the organization. Once written down, I would have them read what they had written and proceed as usual.

    If during the session it had become apparent that the takeover had impact the energy of the team. I would address this during a checkin. I’d start with the standard 3 questions. How are we doing as a team? What are we doing well? What can we do better?

    If the situation had been brought up I would likely ask – How is the energy? What’s the impact on the team when outside influence impact our energy? How do we want to handle it so we can focus on the problem at hand.

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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