Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
This has been my workout/traning motto for several years. Now it also applies to my company. Ownership changed hands last week and it has led to a lot of speculation and angst among employees. In the months leading up to the transaction, the secret was not well kept. If we had been in battle, the enemy would have killed us months ago. Couple that with a lack of transparency and direction and you have a recipe for paranoia and turf building.
Some of the usual side effects have already surfaced. A few employees have left, a number of rumors have started, and questions about the future of departments/culture/etc have arisen. The question I am asked most is “So MIke, what do you think?” My response – “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” It really sucks to apply my training mantra here. I need to come up with a catch phrase. But it really is appropriate.
The sale of a business is pretty straightforward. The valuation was based on the tangible assets of the firm, discounted future cash flows, and some amount of goodwill. The new ownership team obviously feels that in their hands they can earn rents in excess of those earned today. Surprisingly, leadership did not change. There are a few different ways to analyze that move, you can discuss it amongst yourselves.
So what does the future hold? Beats me. All I know is that nothing changes if nothing changes. Personally, I’m ready for change. I’m ready to make our enterprise scale. I’m ready to lower transaction costs. And I’m ready to create better solutions for our employees and customers at the edge of our systems rather than holing them up in the middle. I am going to try to avoid turf battles over platforms, email systems, and the like. If the new direction is to run the enterprise on Ruby, SmallTalk, C++, VB, or whatever – it doesn’t matter to me. That’s just a language. That knowledge can be found on the net and in books – the knowledge of our business and industry isn’t in any book, it’s in my head.
Ok. I’ll get off my soapbox now. Note that to date I have not disclosed my company and I’m not going to start now. But there is such great fodder for these little case studies that I just have to blog about events every now and then.