Posts Tagged ‘partnership’

Mergers – The Human Dyamics

In the new economy businesses are seeking innovative ways to partner and merge with others.  Partnership can bring significant benefits.  However, the partnering process is often destructive and alignment is difficult to achieve.  Recently I was asked why mergers are so challenging and how partners can avoid the typical merger pitfall of squashing out one team.

In almost every industry – from rock and roll bands to internet start-ups – the inability to manage conflict is a precursor to failure. Mergers are especially difficult because of the significant changes and uncertainties that go along with the transition.  By their very nature mergers amplify all of the “normal” conflicts that already exist in both camps.  And, typically it is not the financial or quantifiable details that destroy a partnership, its the human dynamics.

Under every human conflict someone feels dismissed, discounted, disenfranchised, or disrespected.  These emotions can reek havoc during a business merger.  However, since conflict management is not quantifiable or visible it is often a forgotten commodity.  Stake holders typically don’t realize that they need someone else to help manage conflict – until the conflict has escalated to the point of destruction.

What can you do?  Bring in a professional mediator to assist with the transition.  In order to avoid a crisis, it is critical that conversations are held early on, during the window of merger hope and enthusiasm, as well as along the way, when obstacles start to appear.  This strategy will bring to light and immediately address any perceptions that one person or one team is being devalued – before the destructive emotions are acted out or acted upon.  Clearly, in the case of a merger the best person for facilitating these conversations is a third party neutral with no prior loyalties to either side.

Women & Business Partnership – The Good, the Bad and the Synergy

Team sports prepare boys for the corporate model of business. Girls, however, typically play closely with one or two friends. What great preparation for entrepreneurial partnership! So it is fitting, as women continue to start businesses in record numbers, that many are finding partnership is a comfortable format. In fact, business partnership works for women coming from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences including those tired of hitting the corporate glass ceiling, stay-at-home Moms, and women who want to turn their passions and their social connections into business ideas. Partnership brings a wide variety of benefits including a sense of connection and someone to cover when you go on vacation. On the other hand, many partnerships end in crisis and conflict. This article discusses the seven components of positive partnership: Shared Values, Different (Complementary) Skills and Traits, Sense of Equity, Growing Together, Proactive Conflict Management, Shared Vision, and Exit Strategy.

Click here to go to and view Elinor Robin’s complete article

When the Party’s Over – Talking to Your Partner About Exit Strategies

How and when will you move on from your business? Your business may be a lifetime endeavor or a link in the chain of a serial entrepreneurship. Either way, having an exit strategy is essential. If you are part of a business partnership or family business, having an exit strategy is critical. Without one, you may not be able to liquidate your investment and move on, without unforeseen, negative consequences. This article discusses the concept of exit strategy and presents a series of questions partners can use to open up the lines of communication, make some important decisions, and tailor an exit strategy to their individual needs.

Click here to go to and view Elinor Robin’s complete article

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