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Managing M&A transitions as Middle Management

Reorganization
Managing Up
Health / Stress / Burn-Out

11 March, 2019

Bimlesh Gundurao shares

Problem

In a span of 3 years, we had 3 re-orgs and 2 Mergers within our large organization. This was during 2008-2011. Global economy was at its low and we being one of the Top Software Technology companies known mostly for our Financial Products, were severely affected. The Global organization had a new CEO and Executive Leadership team join the Global HQ. We were from a Healthcare Product Division with Customers mostly from the US, while the Financial Product Division operated Globally. During this time, majority of the impact of the global economy rut impacted the Financial Product Division. Our Healthcare Division budgets were tightened, roadmap decisions were on hold. As part of the India Leadership team, we could see and understand the impact. Our teams had to deal with lot of uncertainty around them with no communication focussed on their products line. We saw low morale, long rumour rounds and less collaboration towards customer issues. During the 2 Mergers, our Healthcare Division had a few products had an overlap. The main question was: what happens to the teams and the impact to the customers and will be able to retain the customer base? What happens to the Product Knowledge and expertise of the team? What is the transition plan?

Actions taken

As I was leading one of the large teams in the Healthcare Division, It was decided to address these challenges towards the team and upper management through "Over Communication". As each of the team member had undergone several months of training on Domain, Product and Regulatory - Cost of Attrition was very high and would create long term impact. Following actions were taken

  • Weekly Team communication
  • Extensive outreach for 1:1 to readdress concerns and questions
  • Monthly Sr. Leadership call with the team
  • Sharing Industry news and impact to Healthcare due to the global economy
  • New Product Portfolio Communication Outreach
  • Mapping Team Expertise and Product knowledge
  • Retention, Redeploy, Reskill strategy

Lessons learned

"Over Communication" drive, enabled my team to stay together as a unit. Our Product (which I was heading) was decided to be replaced in the portfolio by a relatively newer product will lesser # of customer base. But the new product, had a huge promise on cost savings to the customer. It was built on New technology and architecture Due to our sincere and consistent Outreach efforts, we successfully managed to have ZERO attrition during these 24 months of 2 Mergers Smoothened the team to transition to new Product Teams Some of the team members were given new responsibility, while some transitioned to new products and some were OK to move to support roles (L2 and L3) 24 months for Out of Portfolio Products The Team Outreach and 1:1 with the teams, ensured that the leadership team was with them - Transparent, Honest and working with the best intentions of leveraging the teams knowledge & expertise in building out for the future helped us transition and retain the teams with high morale


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