Tag Archives: Discussions

How Do You Merge with a Competitor? Seven Suggestions

Situation: A company is in discussions with a competitor about a possible merger. The CEO seeks advice both about how to proceed with these discussions, and how to communicate the possible merger to staff. How do you merge with a competitor?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Until there is a signed binding legal contract everything must be business as usual.
  • Maintaining this attitude provides more leverage as the negotiation proceeds because the company is prepared for either situation.
  • If there is a differential in pricing between the company and the competitor, write short term contracts with customers that the company takes from the competitor. This creates the opportunity to revise the contracts and pricing if the merger is completed.
    • This issue begs the question – why do a deal now versus in 1-2 years? If current strategies are increasing the size of the company relative to the competitor, in another 1-2 years the company will be worth more compared to the competitor and will be in a position to complete a deal on more favorable terms.
  • At this point, most staff are unaware of the discussions. How is it best to proceed?
    • Consult an HR expert on when to start communicating, what to communicate and how to phrase the message.
    • The trigger to initiate top level staff communications will be the signing of a due diligence agreement.
    • The message to senior management: there is interest but no binding agreement, here’s the deal that’s being discussed. Then just listen to what they have to say.
    • Communications to staff create an important management challenge. Staff will be concerned about their futures and will want to have assurances that these are secure.

How Do You Build Meaningful Participation on a Social Web Site? – Six Thought Starters

Interview with Ken Ross, CEO, ExpertCEO, Inc.

Situation: We have built a good online community. Between our site and newsletter, we are in contact with tens of thousands of executives weekly. We constantly seek new ways to encourage active participation in our discussions. What have you done to effectively build regular participation in meaningful discussions?

Advice:

  • Know your audience and focus on topics that engage people. For example, we do a semi-annual compensation survey and get a great response when we publish the results.
  • We often learn more from mistakes than we do from success. Also, people love to talk about business blunders, particularly if the discussions include some well-intentioned humor.
  • Reach out to individuals with interesting backgrounds, experience and situations. Encourage them to post, or feature them in a discussion.
  • We send out weekly emails with titles and synopses of articles posted in the last week. This enables newsletter recipients to quickly scan topics and click on those of interest.
  • A common challenge is filtering posts which are trivial, self-promoting and lack relevance to the focus of the site.
  • The bottom line is that there is no magic bullet. Social networking sites are rapidly evolving so you must continually seek creative additions. This takes time, work and investment.
  • Now it’s your turn. What has drawn you to a social networking site? What have you done to effectively build regular participation in meaningful discussions?

You can contact Ken Ross at ken@expertceo.com

Category: Sales & Marketing, Strategy, Technology

Key Words: Online Community, Social Network, Social Web Site, Participation, Discussions, Mistakes, Humor, Newsletter, Creative