Acquisitions bring tough transitions. So much so that even the best business strategists often oppose them, saying that building the capacity within an organization is easier and brings better results than acquiring someone else.
I was really interested, therefore, in how the Aghyuli Women’s Social Entrepreneurial Cooperative, an organization formed to bring operational support and leadership throughout an enterprise that farms and sells good, successfully acquired 12 other groups in just two years. If you’re questioning the nature of these acquisitions, let me be clear – there were 12 separate balance sheets,12 different budgets and 12 independent organizational structures. Now there is one balance sheet and one budget with one enterprise structure.
When I learned how these leaders managed these acquisitions (this applies to bringing together new teams as well), I realized it was different from how I’ve seen them managed before. For them, the process to acquire another organization didn’t start with structure. It didn’t start by identifying and planning the opportunity. It started by forming shared values, and every organization contributed. Before anything was organized, the shared values were established.
Then they got to work. And their work was productive. Because the values were set, they were able to dream boldly. Now they are fulfilling those dreams. Because they’ve quickly built enterprise capacity through these acquisitions, they have quickly discovered how to build more profit and faster growth into their business by expanding beyond pure production. They now own the entire process for getting their products to market.
When you bring teams or organizations together, do you start with structure or the business objectives? You might consider following the acquisition model of the Aghyuli Women’s Social Entrepreneurial Cooperative – before anything, form the shared values, collectively.