The COLLABO VIRUS: How To Detect If Your Collaboration Move Will Succeed

Tests that Guarantee Success of Collaborations

Often, we form allies with others, to boost our stakes, and make us bigger and more powerful. Also, organizations can grow in two major ways: from within or without, a common means through which companies achieve this is via Mergers and Acquisitions. As good as M&A’s are, they can make or mar a business. According to a report from Harvard Business Review, 70-90% of such ventures fail. (1)

An example is Daimler-Benz and Chrysler. (2)

In 1998, German automotive company Daimler-Benz, and American car company Chrysler merged to form a transatlantic auto company. They were going to leverage on their coverage of different areas of the automotive market and operation in different geographical regions. However, the financial and product synergies for this merger soon paled in comparison to the cultural conflicts the merger created. Chrysler had a loose, entrepreneurial culture, while Daimler-Benz had a very structured and hierarchical approach to business. After enduring years of clashes, ultimately, the merger dissolved when Daimler sold its remaining 19.9% stake in Chrysler in 2009.

There is so much emphasis today on the need for collaboration. But many of such moves will fail because of the dreaded “Collabo Virus.”

“Collabo Virus” is an internal configuration that frustrates attempts of two or more small entities to achieve big things together.

“Collabo Virus” is an internal configuration that frustrates attempts of two or more small entities to achieve big things together.

Dele Ayo Bankole

Little wonder Jim Collins said, “…two big mediocrities joined together never make one big company.” (3)

The most critical ingredient in trumping this dreaded COLLABO VIRUS is compatibility.

These 3 tests will be a good place to start:

1. COGNITION TEST: What do they think about, and what do things mean to them? How do they process thoughts and events? What is their frame of reference? What is their map of the world like? Do you speak the same language? Do they think like first or third world citizens?

If your thoughts do not align, your purpose will misalign.

If your thoughts do not align, your purpose will misalign.

Dele Ayo Bankole

2. CULTURE TEST: How do they do things here? Are they entrepreneurial or bureaucratic? Are they liberal or micro? What is their antecedent? What are “insiders” saying and doing? What are the common words people use here? Do they operate an atmosphere of freedom or freight? Are they flexible or rigid? Are they swift or sluggish?

Culture is not what is written on paper or posted on a wall. Culture is what people are thinking, saying, and doing.

Culture is not what is written on paper or posted on a wall. Culture is what people are thinking, saying, and doing.

3. CAUSE TEST: What are the underlying motives for what they do? Do they genuinely care for people or they are after personal gains and recognition? Are they looking at What’s in it for them, or What’s best for the common good? Is it about the profits or people? Is it for fame or building a future?

I close this with a quote from Dinesh Paliwal, former CEO of Harman International:

“Collaboration is a key part of the success of any organization, executed through a clearly defined vision and mission and based on transparency and constant communication.”

REFERENCE:

(1) https://hbr.org/2011/03/the-big-idea-the-new-ma-playbook

(2) https://www.investopedia.com/articles/insights/061816/4-cases-when-ma-strategy-failed-acquirer-ebay-bac.asp

(3) Collins, James C. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t. New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 2001. Print.

(4)

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