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Positive Organizational Change - Taking a People Approach When Going Through a Merger or Acquisition

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Sarah A Scala, M.Ed & OD
Reading Time: 3 minutes

When businesses are planning a merger or acquisition, often the focus is on the financial and logistical details. Obviously, these are important factors. However, I find that when businesses do not think through the emotional impact on their employees and leaders, the process is often more difficult and less successful.

Recently I worked with a client going through an acquisition. There was a lot of ambiguity for the leaders, as the new parent company had just been announced. Leaders were not being effective because they were not sure what to expect or how to respond. Just because an organization is going through a major change, does not mean that leaders can stop leading. Learn more about the intervention provided for this client by checking out this Case Study.  

Executives and Leaders can take a People approach to change by building their skills in Optimism, Resilience, Grit, and a Growth Mindset. Supporting the emotional psychology of change is as important as the financial, strategic, and logistical details, because you need strong employees and leaders to execute your business plan.     

Years ago I read the book Flourish by Dr. Martin Seligman (University of Pennsylvania). Known as the founder of Positive Psychology, Seligman’s research, detailed in this book, explains the importance of Resilience.  His book also references the work of Dr. Carol Dweck (Stanford University) on Mindsets and Angela Duckworth on Grit.   

Practicing Optimism, Resilience, and Grit, along with having a Growth Mindset will help leaders in any situation be more effective. Through work with this client, they are much more prepared for the emotional aspects of change during their acquisition.  

To learn more about Dr. Carol Dweck’s research on Mindsets, check out her short TED Talk on Mindsets.

To learn more about Angela Duckworth’s work on Grit, check out her short TED Talk on Grit.

How do you support the emotional aspects of change as a leader? Leave a comment to share.  

Need support managing the emotional aspects of change for your organization?
Our custom development programs have been effective in supporting C-Suite, executive teams, leaders, and employees through the ambiguity of change. Check out our Case Study on our approach to effective change management.

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