After China acquisition, the real work begins. I dealt with a company who made a good acquisition here in China and then made a mess of it after they took control. They were very sharp on getting their finance systems working. However, they were poor on retaining the commitment and passion of the workforce. They placed a Western GM with an emphasis on his industry experience. Unfortunately, he did not know how to get the workers moving his direction. He simply did not have the leadership capacity to handle a great change management problem.
After China Acquisition – Change Management – Leadership 5.0
Acquisition is a very deep change management program. Getting signs changed is easy, but moving hearts and minds takes leadership and lots of it. I do not mean leadership that tells people what to do. I mean leadership that understands people and how to hook into their intrinsic desire for achievement to get to success for the whole team. Great leadership is not us versus them. It is us together in our diversity of backgrounds and progressive unity of vision and values. The acquisition manager you need may not have any industry specific experience. She better, however, have good experience in leadership that motivates workers to come online out of their own desire as much as need.
This leader must also have the sense to know who needs to leave the team and how to make it happen. We saw one leader come to an acquisition, and he had trouble and finally discovered that the person he brought with was half the problem! It is not easy to know who to trust in China. Very few leaders can manage this problem so everyone is manipulating the leader. We are leaders choosing leaders and so reach higher on this problem. You can get trustworthy people of talent who can lead great change in your acquisition.
If you do not place anyone onsite, then you need oversight that carries high leadership ability with them. It is very rare that no change is needed. I have never seen that case actually. Change management is not easy and China Acquisition change management is even harder.