Financial Times Editorial: Major rifts in the Corus boardroom

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Financial Times Editorial: Major rifts in the Corus boardroom between factions from the two companies that merged

The rifts within the Corus boardroom are unusual only because they’re so highly visible. They’re certainly not unexpected – when two groups of people come together to form a single, unified community, their different worldviews of past, present and future are highly divergent. Getting them into a common framework is absolutely essential.

Mergers and acquisitions rarely create the single, focused company that was intended in the original strategy. Lots of attention goes into merging the IT systems, the corporate hierarchy, into creating common terms and conditions, yet little goes into looking at how people view the organisation – or into effectively creating a common vision of the future.

My experience is that we all have different mental stories about the group or organisation to which we belong. And by making those stories explicit and looking at the differences between them, we’re able to create a deeper understanding of each other – and where the potential rifts may be. Not just the rational – and easily voiced – differences in opinion, but the deeper, heartfelt differences in what the organisation stands for.

Projecting these stories into metaphors and fables – out of everyday language and into what we intuitive understand from our childhoods – realises much more information and understanding. And the earlier we see and understand these rifts, then the quicker we can take steps to bridge those differences.

But that’s another story for another day.

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