Note- My blog post and thoughts are not to target the company and or any employees. I hold much regard for all shareholders involved in these organizations from executive leadership down to the crew-member. My discussion is strictly from an outside perspective, and for the sole purpose of creating a discussion within this blog post as to the reshaping of the landscape industry.
Original Press Release:
On December 3rd 2014 this was the headline in major business papers and social media sites—Brickman And ValleyCrest Announce New Name- BrightView CEO Andrew Kerin said.
Article Building BrightView-LM-June 2015
Well here we are, the fall is almost upon us and before you know it the snow will be falling in many parts of the country. Oh what a year it’s been. The economy has ramped back up, discretionary spending is much more prevalent, landscape business acquisitions are happening throughout the US, several national companies have re-branded themselves and landscape businesses in general are reporting significant growth so far in 2015 and looking forward to even a brighter 2016. Opportunities are abound and there is much much more to come!
This bog post is part II and follow-up to my post on December 28, 2014 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/building-brand-destroying-legacy-greenmark-consulting-group?trk=mp-reader-card
The Challenges of Integrating Brands..Is there really a strategy?
Of all the assets exchanged during a merger or acquisition, the most important asset is human, people talent that is. Being active in the industry in recruiting, hiring and business consulting, I often come in contact with Brickman/VC team members. In my conversations, the message I continually hear is very clear, however it’s as confusing for me as it is for them.
Why is the level of transparency with regards to structural reorganization not as clear as employees think it should be?
My answer to this question as my oldest son would say, ‘It’s complex’. Indeed it is, think about it, two large organizations, two cultural mindsets, overlapping roles within layers of management and markets throughout the US that share close proximity to one another. While the roll out of the new organizational structure is just really starting to take shape throughout all markets, many team members have either fled the organizations in fear of what was not happening, or in fear of what might happen, and others are potentially holding on for dear life waiting to see if they will make the cut.
You need to remember that post-merger integration with regards to human talent is typically divided into 4 stages, namely, scoping, HR due diligence, integration alignment and finally organizational realignment. Ultimate success for Brightview relies heavily on the effective organizational realignment plan the post merger integration team at Brightview has put in place. While thoughtful planning is often used during all post M&A activities, flawless execution always remains as the biggest challenge and even potentially a huge risk.
The New Beginning is really just starting to take shape…
New beginning Employees need to understand and wholeheartedly accept the following to help them embark on the new beginning of the Brightview Organization.
- The true purpose and intent behind the M&A
- The clear (big) picture of what the new entity will look like
- A transparent understanding of how the company will get there
- The part the employee plays in the successful outcome.
The need for constant and clear communication with the employees in all the four types of organizational experiences cannot be over emphasized. Managing Change at the team level ending and beginning are the most important features of mergers and acquisitions like Brickman/VC.
Closing; I believe that this M&A is the foundation of our new industry. I predict in the next 2-3 years (if not sooner) the next national will be born. There are several landscape companies in the market that continue to spread there geographic footprint and are not only internally capitalized to ‘acquire’, they are becoming very appealing within the M&A market. As for the small guys, keep plugging away, there is plenty of fruit left on the vine that will sour as clients are still pondering whats next.
Thoughts and comments?
Steven Cohen, Principal of GreenMark Consulting Group is a business management and operations consultant with more than 25 years of landscape/snow industry experience. Steven has an extensive background in managing cross-functional business operations, business strategy and market growth projects. He prides himself as being both an analytical and a conceptual thinker who effectively partners with business owners to assess opportunities, facilitate strategic decisions, and drive successful implementations. GreenMark Consulting Group specializes in helping growth-oriented companies see through challenges and map out operational and growth strategies.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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