COACHING MERGERS AND EXECUTIVE COACHING By Thrity Engineer-Mbuthia T he world of business is constantly changing. More and more, one hears of businesses fighting for survival. Some are bought off, some are shut down and some find themselves being joined together under the process of a merger. The very word, merger sends shivers down the spines of employees, customers and even shareholders. So many questions come up, so much uncertainty and inevitable change. Whereas businesses may opt to merge purely to have a strategic advantage in the market, there could also be a scenario of mergers occurring within various departments in one organization. Marketing practitioners will tell you that one of the things that impacts delivery of successful marketing campaigns is the organizational structure. Internally, teams compete with each other; this could be sales teams handling different brands attempting to outdo each other or even clashes between sales and marketing teams that result in poor execution of plans. It could even mean confusion for the customer, where the positioning isn’t clear, impacting brand equity of not only ‘‘ In a leadership coaching discussion, the “coach helps leaders to develop skills, emotional capacities, motivation knowledge and expertise” that would then allow the leader to build on self awareness and appreciate their personal strengths, weaknesses and learn more about what they really want to achieve and most likely understand their fears as well.’’ 68 MAL 18/17 ISSUE the brand but the corporate brand as well. This is sometimes resolved by initiating an integration process, a merger of sorts. The aim is to have all teams pull together and ensure that the customer views the products and solutions as all encompassing. Roberta Hill et al in an article in the Ivy Business Journal indicates that there are several key things that must be considered for a successful merger to take place. The authors point out that usually mergers tend to focus on the operational part of the business, integrating the business and financial systems. The process of mergers often overlooks the human aspect. The authors point out that communication is on a “need to know basis” resulting in lack of information, and confusion about the next steps. This has the potential to impact staff morale and also slow down the current operations of the organization.