These stories are always somewhat funny, but hit really close to home based on the fact that the volume of my career’s work has been in telecommunications. I have been in situations like this (albeit not nearly as drastic) where you have to manage through all of the snowball that happens as a result. While it is so incredibly complicated, I think we are all starting to better learn how to navigate these scenarios and remind ourselves how easy it is for the 0.1% of people to derail the boat which is otherwise navigated by the 99.9%.
The one thing that shocked me though? 2 years of service was the alleged reimbursement offer (and 2 subsequent years of free service)… What’s that, a little less than $10k? I know if I were a customer I would be looking for WAY more than that. Right? What do you think – what’s the price on ’embarrassment’ or ‘agony’ now in a digital age where it’s so easy to smear a company and have it go viral?
Til Next Time,
As promised, a follow up to how I would handle the Comcast/TWC merger and integration of the two companies.
DISCLAIMER: this is 90% satire, 10% real. Keep that in mind.
Imagine this… In order to peacefully unify two disparate companies practicing in totally different geographies, what if we used gamification (buzzword alert) to resolve the unsettled differences? It would be great. Not only would it be fun, lighthearted, and keep everyone optimistic about the integration. It would rapidly accelerate the implementation timeline.
Here are some sample games that could be employed to define path forward for integration points:
- CEO’s could compete in a decathlon of events to determine who takes point of crafting the mission/vision statement for the unified company
- The VP’s of finance could play a game of checkers to see which company’s accounting or book-keeping software was used
- Marketing departments could compete in a 24-hour marketing challenge (independently judged) to see which team would run point on the new company’s campaigns
- Teams of front-line call center agents could play in a 2-on-2 basketball tournament to identify which team’s call scripting was used
- Housekeeping staffs could participate in a giant tug-of-war to see which role description and responsibilities were claimed
- Administrative assistants could participate in a skills competition in order to have higher placement in the draft to select the executives they are paired with
While quite rushed and void of much original human thought, this method would at least ensure both sides had a “fair shot” at being represented in the future state company. Plus it could be really fun and build a great team chemistry/camaraderie. I think a lot of times the post-merger integration of disparate sides is done way too methodically in a way that is painfully exhausting and lulls the sides to sleep (And do you ever do good work when you’re asleep? Me either). There is so much time wasted on figuring out who’s right, who’s wrong, which way is the best, etc. At a certain point, you have to just make a decision, move on, adapt and sustain, or continue to operate differently. Not every situation has a winner and a loser. Sometimes we’re all right; and that’s alright.
Til Next Time,
I realize this is old news. However, I was on vacation for a few days since then, and really needed some time to let the gravity of it all sink in. I think this deal is absolutely horrible for the consumer. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment (99.9% of consumers likely agree), so let me give some deeper perspective.
Here’s what I think will happen as a result of this joining of forces. Papa Bear (Comcast) will:
- Bring in Consulting Firm ABC* because they have “wealth of knowledge” of TWC infrastructure
- Allow ABC to do 12-18 months of “current state analysis” to isolate gaps, dependencies, or similarities
- Bite off on ABC’s recommendation to let ABC chew over the fundamental differences for another 18-24 months and conduct mass quantities of stakeholder interviews
- Receive a proposal for how the new landscape should look and where the key integration points (people, process, technology, etc) are
- Receive a (similar) proposal for the number of dollars it will take for ABC to “help along the way”
- Altogether (~4 years later at this point) pay ungodly sums of money for implementation/integration of the companies to never come to fruition
- Keep the companies operating as virtually-separate entities, with shared processes for minute activities where consolidation was a no-brainer
- Pass on costs directly to consumers who will be handcuffed to Papa Bear’s services
In an upcoming post I plan to give a brief, humorous idea I have on how this Post-Merger-Integration could work better. It’s 90% sarcasm, 10% truth.
Til Next Time,
*I have a feeling I know who firm ABC is too, and in my opinion: Uh Oh.