As Released July 1, 2014
Brickman Group Press Release
“The Merger completion on June 30 of Maryland based Brickman Group, Ltd. LLC and California based ValleyCrest Companies, LLC creates the industry’s largest-leading landscape Services Company”.
It’s been over three months now since the merger of Brickman/VC took place. Thoughts have run the gamete as to what’s next for the two companies and what opportunities are available to other competing and non-competing companies.
It is now time to see how it all will come together. With a big corporate gathering happening in the near future with the Brickman/VC leadership team, the big question will be is this the event where the big news is released? How will the two companies integrate operationally, will any business units of VC be divested? Will corporate/operational staffing be realigned? Will corporate office be merged or remain separate? and the biggest question which we are all anxious to hear…what will the brand look like? New name, new image…new color scheme?
While many industry professionals have their opinions, this blog is nothing more than me sharing my thoughts as a landscape-snow industry veteran.
Clearly, the need to understand and rationalize what exists and how things will work has driven the first weeks and months of post-merger integration. However, as time goes on the need of rationalization increases as the potential of the new company must start to yield greater value to its shareholders. It is one thing to design a new architecture and relationships on paper, its quite another to bring them to life. No matter how visionary the executive and transition team are, each quickly learns that synergy cannot be generated solely from above – or realized simply by reducing headcount. Synergy requires the engagement and commitment of the whole organization. And therein lies the biggest challenge.
Most mergers are seen as times of chaos, fear, uncertainty, distraction, limitation, and dehumanization. The process is often painful, and the results costly. When knowledge capital is lost through employee exile and the turnover of key individuals during a merger, when pride in the company and pride in one’s work are eroded through ill treatment at the hands of merger managers, when innovations are abandoned in favor of new ideologies, just because one group is considered the „home team“ and the new one deemed somewhat expendable, the webs that make the organization work potentially break down and fall apart.
Here’s where the challenge lies…
Good integration, whether its one month or six months requires management to be well-focused by discipline, focus, and dedicated resources to understand the complexities at hand. Things start to get challenging during phase two of the post integration. This is the time where the companies are starting to deploy changes to organizational structure, systems and processes, realigning markets and changing staffing. Let’s face it, Brickman & VC are two highly charged cultures where people operate with very different, professional and personalized agendas. There are so many pressure points, conflicting points of view, and management distractions.
Managed in a holistic way, this merger can become an opportunity for people to learn, grow, and have a voice. Shared visioning activities and cross-company merger project teams can provide opportunities to meet new people and gain new perspectives and skills. Work-redesign processes can give team members the chance to innovate and to show what they are capable of. Changes in organizational design or expansions in job scope offer many the challenge of taking on a new job, function, or level of responsibility – So…those are my thoughts at the moment.
What’s your opinion?
Looking for a good book on the subject, suggested reading;
- The Visionary Leader: How to inspire success from the top down.
- Susan Bagyura (Author), Michael E. Gerber (Foreword), Fiona Dempsey (Illustrator)