When change comes to town, it seems to divide people into two camps: victims and villains. Those who precipitated the change are often the bad guys of the situation. And everyone else seems to be warily looking for their name on the chopping block. Change has the same effect on businesses, which is why mergers and other structural shake-ups can be so damaging to morale and productivity.
But they don’t have to be. While reading Sharon Melnick’s new book, Success Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive When the Pressure’s On, I came across her seemingly stellar exercise for people who are going through this kind of flux. It’s called “WIN at Change.” While it is intended for the individual, I think that brokers, managers and leaders of all kinds could benefit from it.
The exercise is predicated on Melnick’s theory that if you take responsibility for your 50 percent of any given situation, your stress level will decrease, as you’re holding up your end of the bargain with the understanding that you can’t do it all. I think that’s a key component to this exercise, and I think managers would do well to mention that ideal as an introduction to the exercise. As Melnick says, “It’s tempting to comment negatively on other peoples’ decision or to be fearful of the uncertainty, but the way to stay productive is by managing yourself” (emphasis hers). If nothing else, it should quiet detractors long enough to get through the exercise!
So, here’s what you do. Gather all the stakeholders and hand them two pieces of paper. The first one should be split into thirds, and the second one blank. Here’s your script: Continue reading »
By Jim Huff, president, Huff Realty, Louisville, Ky.
Acquiring Profit: The Win/Win System to Real Estate Mergers and Acquisitions By George Slusser (Quantum Solution) $25
Acquiring Profit not only met but exceeded my expectations.
It gets to the meat of the material right away, and the information comes from a person with experience. It’s not just case studies or theory.
The book takes you step-by-step through the acquisition process, beginning when you first conceive of the idea for an acquisition or merger, through implementing the plan, and up to the transition. It’s an easy read for anyone in the business and for people contemplating selling or acquiring a business.
Acquiring Profit lets brokers know what information they need in a merger or acquisition and includes a never-forget list, five formulas for calculating value, and a rundown of the fold-in versus the move-in process. You can use the book as a reference tool.
One of the most informative features of the book is a graph illustrating how drastically brokerages have changed. It shows that between 1990 and 1994, 77 percent of the top 100 companies in the country were involved in one or more mergers or acquisitions; from 1980 to 1985, only 14 percent were involved.
I was also impressed by the information concerning the human element of mergers and acquisitions. Realizing there’s more to the acquisition process than just numbers, Slusser tells how to deal with the various personalities.
I enjoyed every chapter of the book, and I got so caught up in it that I found myself highlighting points for future reference. In fact, I was about halfway through the book when I mistakenly left it on a plane, and I was truly disappointed that I’d have to wait and find another copy before I could get the rest of the information.
Our company is in an acquisition mode, so the book was especially valuable to me. It confirmed that I’d done some things right, and it gave me ideas to better handle future acquisitions or mergers.