Great Talent Always Exits After Merger

Originally posted on Healthcare Informatics

Here we go again.
More consolidation activity is taking place in our market. HCIT is a dynamic and changing landscape on the vendor front – but really no different that other industries when it comes to the consolidation we are seeing – except the enormous amount of money pouring into HCIT. Get ready for lots of merger and acquisition news. When a company is acquired many of the stakeholders and shareholders are thrilled. When a liquidity event occurs, for those that share in financial upside, it can be a very satisfying and rewarding. That’s a good thing. To others – not so much.

I hear about it more and more from candidates impacted by a merger or acquisition that are now in search of a new career. The company they used to work for has changed – forever. The way things used to be done are now done differently and it no longer feels like the same company. Guess what? It isn’t. The new culture and new ways of doing business are quickly replaced with new policies and procedures – that’s, of course, takes place right after the first in a series of many re-organizations as the company right-sizes itself. Out with the old and in with the new. That’s the way it works.

In many of the deals that take place it’s actually the employees that took the “old company from “good to great”. For many of these companies, the value of the company was largely driven by the organizations greatest asset – their employees. Once the deal closes you can smell it a mile away. The very best people that made the “old company” great run for the exit door. They don’t want to leave but struggle with all of the changes and poor execution on the integration of blending the “old” with the “new”.

It’s happening again in the HCIT vendor world and we are usually the first responders as candidates looking for a new home reach out to search professionals first – in total frustration in search of their next home. Unfortunately, within a short period of time, for many of these companies, the only thing that’s left is the intellectual property and a not so happy customer base. Customers feel the change as well. Service levels take a hit and the domain knowledge to support the products and services that made the acquired company great becomes scarce. And the wheels on the bus go round and round.

Some of the large companies that have done multiple acquisitions and you might think they would be getting better at integrating the companies they acquire – and finding creative ways to retain the superstars that help make the company great. Not really. They either don’t get it – or they do – and by design, it’s just part of their master plan. It’s too bad so many good people have to leave after an acquisition – but life goes on.

There will be many more deals in our space as HCIT consolidates further. If this happens to one of your vendors, you will likely notice wholesale changes in your support and service and many of the great people you counted on for supporting your IT systems will be gone. Don’t take it personally. It’s just business.

Onward through the fog.

Strategy: Lock Down ALL Exit Doors…

Managing your talent pool is incredibly important – now maybe more than ever. In a down economy many executives focus their efforts on eliminating all hiring, freezing pay increases and in implementing other cost cutting strategies. While keeping an eye on the bottom-line those same executives are not focused on THE key strategy to survive this economy. Keeping and retain their senior team. Keeping and retaining top talent is one of the most critical success factors for executives and has the most impact on the organizations near term and long-term success. It can be the difference in your organizations success or failure. This is a real issue!

We’ve seen huge challenges in this economy. Clearly some areas of healthcare have been impacted and discussed in this forum (almost weekly). Developing talent management retention strategies may be viewed as overhead by some executives instead of a vital component of maintaining stability in the organization. NOTE TO SELF: In many cases having superior executive talent could be your only competitive advantage and the one key driver that can have the most impact on the success of the organization. Think about it! It is a very real issue! You must develop a plan today to keep your starting line-up from walking through the EXIT DOOR once the market turns! Many executives are wearing multiple hats, working longer hours and are growing tired of all of the increased workload and lack of compensation and recognition. Their career clock is definitely ticking. TICK-TOCK-TICK-TOCK…

It’s one thing to attract and recruit outstanding talent. It takes a different approach to keep them. Retaining top shelf talent has to be a top priority to get through this crazy market we are currently in. Failure to find ways to keep your key players engaged will likely result in a mass exit once the dust clears in this economy. That day will happen (for sure)!!

Losing key members of your team is not a good outcome so make a plan to keep them. Today!

One Year Later…
Posted on: 5.11.2009 7:40:02 PM Posted by Tim Tolan

It is so hard for me to realize that one year has officially passed since I wrote my first blog at Healthcare Informatics. Wow! It’s amazing. The time has just flown by for me. So much has happened since May 12th of 2008. I thought I would highlight a few major events (in no particular order) that help me realize just how quickly this exciting space has truly changed in just 12 short months:

– I no longer have to explain to people what healthcare IT is all about. Everyone has heard so much about this market and there is so much attention now with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. HCIT is almost main-stream. Now that’s progress! Go figure!

– The job market landscape (even in healthcare) has definitely changed. Just look at my very first post! Can you say meltdown! Many CIO’s and other HCIT executives will put off retirement for a while. Our financial markets have tanked, 401K’s and IRA’s have taken a bloodbath – but things are looking better. Good lessons have been learned by most of us. A good thing. The fear of the talent floodgates opening to drain the industry’s human capital pool has been temporarily delayed (OK – at least for a few years). Not the end of the world…

– I’ve had the chance to talk and get to know some of the brightest technology experts in healthcare in the United States. It’s amazing how many people in this industry have so much to offer and how willing they are to share information to help others in our space. I talk with CIO’s on a regular basis and now realize what it means to be an expert in your field! We have lots of experts in this field. Lots!

– We’ve elected our first African American President and the first one that has a broad understanding of the value that HCIT brings to the table. There are so many ways our industry can help reshape and drive meaningful value into our healthcare system and lower the enormous healthcare spend in the US. We will all be in the spotlight as the stimulus kicks into high gear. I hope EMR adoption finally has legs! Let’s see what we can do. I know we can make a difference. It’s so exciting to be a part of it!

Finally, I’ve had a chance to meet and work with many of my fellow bloggers, writers and the wonderful team at Healthcare Informatics. It’s been a thrill to be associated with such professionals that share my passion for this amazing industry we all serve. I’ve heard from readers that read a post or an article and called me or e-mailed me for advice and feedback. That shows me that this forum is working and the content that HI provides means something to the HCIT readers that choose to participate. According to Anthony G readership, page views, time on the site and overall traffic continues to grow at a very nice clip. More goodness!

I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store. I just can’t wait!!!!!