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Mutual trust after M&A―Face-to-face communication

Companies are strengthening their competitiveness by increasing the specialisation and added value of their resources (management resources) in order to adapt to changes in societal values and technology, and optimising the internal allocation of resources acquired through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is one way of doing this. one of the ways to do this.

Senior managers in several global companies I often meet are in the process of setting up important new businesses and are struggling to secure the resources, such as talented people, that would otherwise exist within the company.

This may be due to the size of the business organisation and the transparency of the information shared therein. For example, in overseas offices that have only been acquired for a short period of time, the old corporate culture and organisational structures remain, and governance by the Japanese head office is not sufficiently effective.

In order to properly understand internal resources, it is important to resolve the opacity of information that was not revealed during the due diligence (asset assessment) carried out prior to the acquisition. In this case, if there is a low level of mutual trust, having staff sent by the head office to the location to report on internal affairs will not have a positive effect.

First of all, the wariness of both the head office and the base needs to be relaxed. The simplest and most effective way to do this is for the parties concerned to communicate face to face.

I believe that the following process of communication is essential as a basis for organisations with different values to share management resources.

(1) Visualisation of projects and key people (decision-makers) within each organisation.

(2) Ensuring a direct means of information exchange between key persons

(3) Sharing information on daily work through audio and video

After establishing a mechanism for easy discovery of access partners in (1) and (2), the opportunity is guaranteed for both parties to actively share information with each other at any time.

The parties' messages are free from noise from other stakeholders, which makes them more reliable. Many information technologies (IT) solve the geographical and time constraints that arise in overseas locations. This relationship is then diffused in both organisations.

(3) can simulate the atmosphere of a team and its members, which is difficult to convey by text alone, such as emails.

In cases where the head office is planning to standardise company-wide work processes, videos explaining the implementation processes, know-how and equipment used at each site are shared at study sessions attended by relevant staff at each site.

Members can then discuss based on this, and instead of enforcing Japanese processes, they can find improvement measures that embrace each other's intentions and advantages and add value to management resources in a bottom-up way.

In my 10 years of providing companies with cross-cultural human resource development solutions, I have come to the conclusion that the above process is an effective way to put it into practice. I am currently developing a platform (information infrastructure) to realise this in another company (Trusted).

Members of an organisation tend to think that their own ingenious processes and know-how are the rational ones, which leads to misunderstandings and distrust between organisations as they accumulate.

By being open about their values and providing information to each other on an equal footing, it is possible to properly assess and utilise management resources.

Born in Uzbekistan. Graduated from Samarkand State University of Foreign Languages with a degree in English and Japanese linguistics. SOPHYS, a human resources development consultancy, and Global Business Development Support. Trusted in Tokyo.

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