Big Idea by Laurence Capron

Laurence Capron

Business leaders have to change their strategic thinking because they often jump to their favourite mode of growth instead of thinking very carefully how they should grow their organization.  Should they grow organically?  Should they buy companies or should they enter into alliances and partnerships?  It’s difficult for business leaders to adjust their mind-set for three main reasons.  Firstly, they have their own personal biases.  Some of them prefer to do acquisitions, others prefer to focus on internal innovation.  Secondly, some teams, are very powerful with vested interest within their organization.  For instance, in some companies the M&A team will be very powerful and will gear the organization towards making acquisitions. Thirdly, even very good acquirers tend to be trapped by their processes. They always rely on the same mode of growth.  Partnerships and alliances become increasingly important for business leaders. We see innovation emerging from so different parts of the world that it’s important to try to have access to new source of knowledge and most of the time it’s not possible to have full control of all the organization that can potentially have interesting capabilities. Knowledge for your own organization and the alliances are so to be more flexible and less expensive than full acquisitions.  The program on mergers and acquisitions should see the acquisition as part of corporate development toolkit instead of looking at acquisition as a strategy by itself. Most of business leaders have an objective to learn how to execute an acquisition deal but also more importantly they should focus a lot on when does it makes sense to make an acquisition instead of using partnerships or internal development. 

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