A New Year, A New Commitment, A New (Vector) View

January 19th, 2015   •   no comments   

After much soul searching and consternation, Vector Group Principals agreed to commit to some sweeping changes in how we reach out to a growing audience interested in our work over the years. As a well-established international consulting firm for over 30 years, we continue to adapt our approaches with our clients, build new models, develop new tactics and share our methodologies with others who want to do good work whether as a practitioner in our field or in management within an organization.

Admittedly, we are “long in the tooth and full of Moxie” as the old saying goes but we firmly believe old dogs can learn new tricks. However, much to our chagrin and with ample egg on our faces, we dragged our feet in embracing new technologies particularly around social media. We are on LinkedIn but to date had done little with it. We saw no reason for Facebook and we still do not think “tweeting” is a high priority in our work. Long in the tooth also means that when we hear something about tweets, we harken back to an earlier more simple time and think of Tweety Bird saying, “I tot a taw a puddy tat.” How is that relevant to the world of business?

OMG . . . I just did a Google search for Tweety Bird and found he has his OWN website at http://www2.warnerbros.com/tweety. He seems to be having a resurgence among younger people. You can experience a “Tweety Mood Wheel” to see what Tweety says about your day, check out Tweety’s fun fashion to find out who is wearing Tweety and how, print your own Tweety luggage tags and you can even shop for Tweety products. Amazingly, Tweety’s been around since 1942 so even old canaries can learn new tricks.

Nevertheless, having reviewed the previous year finding out many people visited our blog and doing our planning for 2015 and beyond, we agreed to go full bore into leveraging social media including The Vector View and launching at least a Facebook company page to share our expertise with those who may benefit from it. With that said, our commitment is to provide a weekly blog and we will allocate writing responsibilities amongst us. We may even call upon trusted colleagues outside our firm to contribute their thinking as well.

Between The Vector View and our website www.vectorgroupinc.com, we plan to give out more and more of our intellectual property (IP) with those who may gain benefit from it. Unlike other consulting firms, our belief is that time we spend protecting what we already developed is time lost from working with new ideas and moving forward. We strive to broaden the field of performance improvement and zealously guarding our IP keeps it out of the hands of people who may find it helpful when dealing with their own organizations or in helping other organizations.

Should you visit our website and have an interest in any of our models, processes, tools, assessments, instruments or concept papers, please contact us with your request. Most of our work is currently ,or soon will be, available in PDF format for download. We grant you permission to use these resources but we respectfully request that you keep the copyrights intact and give credit where credit is due.

There is method in our madness here, too. We plan to publish a number of articles in addition to publishing this blog. Who better to provide feedback on our writing than the audience who reads it? The culmination of our efforts will result in at least a couple of books we have on the drawing board at this time related to post-M&A integration and achieving strategic intent. We invite you to dialogue with us about how you view our thinking.

In line with this, I am reminded of a board game came out just a few years ago called “Fact or Crap™” (a trademark of Imagination Entertainment). In what they describe as a “fast-paced trivia game,” Players compete to answer that question in a display of their knowledge of the world and score points based on their correct answers.

We decided to use the concept of “fact or crap” to launch our renewed efforts with our blog. We came up with a list of commonly held beliefs and understandings regarding post-merger or post-acquisition integration and about strategic alignment. We will use our 30+ years of experience in the field to determine reality or myth.

In our Vector View, here are the first “dirty dozen” topics (in no particular order) we promise to deliver in the next two or three months. In the meantime, you can determine for yourselves what may be fact or crap.

  1. It takes a long time to see results from a culture change effort.
  2. National and ethnic cultures go hand in hand with organizational culture – it is all one topic.
  3. Since some organizational cultures cannot merge effectively, Cultural Due Diligence (CDD) needs to occur prior to finalizing a deal.
  4. Integration of two or more cultures should proceed slowly and cautiously.
  5. For the best results, keep culture change as a separate topic from the other change activities involved in post-merger integration.
  6. Simple and focused change efforts are best; do not overwhelm people.
  7. The more people involved in the decisions in all aspects of the change, the greater the acceptance in the end.
  8. Management will have its hands full with the “business” aspects of the integration. Leave the soft stuff such as organizational culture to consultants.
  9. An effective and well-managed organizational culture will produce one overall and all encompassing culture across the entire organization.
  10. In a post-merger or post-acquisition environment, do not waste time on where the two or more companies have been. Focus all attention on where you want to be and waste no time on what was.
  11. The Executive suite has to lead any successful organizational change.
  12. Off-the-shelf surveys and questionnaires are easy, cost-effective and thereby the best tools for cultural assessment of an organization.

A Preview of Upcoming Blogs and/or Articles for Publication

The titles for the next three weekly blogs are:

  • Change has Changed (change management and leadership)
  • Cultural Assessment: Considerations, Approaches and Implications©
  • Endemic Organizational Dysfunctions and Organizational Performance

Here is the current list of working titles we will write in the following months:

  • Group Techniques for Managing Group Performance
  • Strategic Alignment: An Historical Perspective
  • Systems Theory and Organizational Performance
  • Changing the Focus from Individual to Group
  • Leadership: The Vector Group Approach
  • Culture and Business
  • Living the Brand Promise
  • Management Mirror© (executive teams)
  • Partnering (Teamwork Between Teams)
  • Organizational Scan Model©
  • Issues-Based Team Building©
  • Jack Welch’s Four Types

Welcome back to The Vector View. We promise not to drop the ball again and we hope you visit often.

Cheers,

Gary

Gary W. Craig

Managing Partner

Vector Group, Inc.

gcraig@vectorgroupinc.com

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