It’s funny, as I gather my thoughts about corporate development, so much of it seems to center around the process of working internally – getting input from the appropriate people, making sure other teams are involved, and getting the deal approved. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like the work of negotiating externally with sellers, buyers and potential partners is the easy part of the job!
As I work through my first few months here at a much smaller company, I’m reminded of how important it is to have healthy and productive internal relationships. Not formal command-and-control or even the dreaded “matrix management” – just go-to people at all levels of the organization who can get things done for you. Even with as relatively few HQ people as we have here, I’m having to replace the network I had built before – the brilliant accounting manager who always made sure I took care of working capital adjustments in the deal; the guy in engineering who could always dig up whatever obscure technical info I needed on a moment’s notice; the lawyers with the patience to deal with having an ex-lawyer as a client, and all the others. It takes time to find the right people, and even more time to build trust and camaraderie.