Recently I was talking with a former colleague who is working at a company that just acquired their main competitor and is in the process of merging the operations. Unlike a company that sells the same a tangible product, these are two service firms who have (had) a very different approach to their business.
One firm relied on utilizing past data to develop trends. The other company specialized in modeling future scenarios and preparing predictions. Now they must meld the two philosophies together into a coherent service for their current and past clients.
My friend said that some of the other company’s ideas really were best practices and they are creating a new approach rather than continuing wholesale with the path of either organization. Still, it is a significant shift in practice for all involved.
I imagine some of those initial consulting appointments could involve a few tricky conversations: “Yes, you went with us and we have approached things one way, but now we’re a new company with a new line of thinking. It’s better; trust me.”
Whether you are the same organization or the merged by product of another, it is important to be open to new ideas and to evolve your thinking. Just because the one with a different way of doing things is your competitor doesn’t automatically make it wrong. Be willing to embrace the best idea whenever you find it, even if the name on the letterhead doesn’t change.