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How Not to Lose an Organization

It’s such a shame to see people build organizations, only to lose a vast majority of the people. I’ve seen this occur several times during my small business career. The first time I saw this happen it involved thousands of small business owners. The leadership of the departing organization wanted more control and more money and they achieved this but the fracture their move created never healed.

The second time I encountered an organizational fracture was during a recent merge of two local youth sports organizations. This most recent event had a direct impact on our family, especially our children, as these two local competing clubs decided to merge and combine forces to supposedly achieve a more cohesive and better environment for the children.

I feel the two directors jumped the gun, sent a mixed message and didn’t communicate properly. They both seemed to feel that dropping a big turd on everyone would be the best way to go and then leave people in the dark until they could work out the details.

Now I will say that one of the organizations was pretty good at communicating, but only after the public announcement of the proposed merger.

After all, the intent to merge and actually completing the merge are two separate topics.

Before you ever make a major change like a merge, especially when it involves families, money and children, it’s best to communicate first instead of later on down the line.

In our case – the families have been one of the main financial sources for the two organizations. So the salaries, overhead and expenses of these two operations are paid by the parents along with sponsors.

We happened to have experience with both organizations, so our perspective was different than the families on either side of the fence.

The one thing that struck me the most was the speed at which the two competing directors  put the deal together. This and the simple fact that they are fierce competitors and have never worked together. Now I could keep going on and on but hopefully you get the idea.

It would be like two CEO’s or if you like, owners of small businesses merging to help foster a better community for their employees and their families.

Hmmmmmmm……let’s take a peak behind the scenes in the boardrooms and follow the money, eh?

With all that said…

Before you jump ship and split up an organization or merge two competing organizations, make sure that your ego and pride are in check. Do everything you can to work it out and consider the families that your split or merge will affect.

Lastly, communicate with the organization(s) before you make it public. For great communication can make the difference of a successful merger or one that fails and falls by the roadside.

Stay Tuned,

Dave Krygier

SmallBiz Mechanix 


Communication Breakdowns – Part I

Over 40 years ago a famous rock group released a song about communication break down and it seems that no matter how far advanced technology has brought us, we still have to deal with this challenge.

From the home front to the offices of our businesses to the school room, it makes no difference; we have to communicate; yet many people I come across have not learned the basics? Is it the simple fact that society has made such a fast change or is it as simple as people not knowing how to use and adapt to new communication methods?

Going back to 1995 when I first started using email, most of the people communicating with me were business oriented. In my case, our prospects and some clients used email to search and inquire about our products and services. This was new to me and I needed to adapt fairly quickly. So I learned, tested, failed, grew and finally figured it out, but still have to work on it to this day.

In one case I remember a scientist working in Antarctica called me on a satellite phone instead of emailing because he had specific questions and didn’t want to mess around with email. Plus I think he liked the contact with the outside world and it turned out to be fascinating for me, as I had never spoken to anyone like this before.

One lady I know of prefers texting to all other forms of communication and she’s pretty good at it, but she’ll still pick up the phone when necessary.

On the other hand, I now see more and more people using email and text with their smart phones assuming that the recipient will get back to them immediately with an answer. Instead of picking up the phone and making the call to communicate, they stress out for hours until the person answers or they send another text or email.

Today, I still see people fire off emails without thinking twice and yet they wonder why the responses they receive are so short and razor sharp, if you know what I mean. I believe part of it has to do with laziness and the other half is just plain ignorance and not caring at all what the outcome might be.

With so many ways to communicate today, are you stuck in your shell and locked into one or two methods, or are you embracing and testing new forms of communication?

Have you let the ‘ole’ tele go by the wayside and opted for typing to avoid human interaction, conflict or even accountability? I’ve personally seen this time and time again and wonder if these individuals understand what they are doing?

Maybe it’s time we really evaluate what communication methods work for us and which ones don’t. Remember to test, test and test some more and then you can make quality decisions that will hopefully help your business and personal life.

Communication breakdowns will always be around, no matter how far advanced we human’s get. Let’s do our part as professionals to eliminate as many communication breakdowns as possible and make it easier on those we work and associate with everyday.