Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Comprehensive Analysis of a Proposed Failed Merger (Fiat-Chrysler and General Motors)

One of our favorite weekend past times is to read the weekend edition of the WSJ, the NYT or Google News for the reason of knowing what could be the tangible truth that lurks in the information economy. 

(During the weekdays, some of us usually ignored the pop culture of the news and are focused on the relevant essence of life .)

An associate sent this interesting NYT article to me on Mr. Martchionne, the C.E.O. of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles making an offer of merger both of their companies together, to Mary T. Barra, the chief executive of General Motors

Since Martchionne 's proposal lacked  a value proposition and pertinent leverage, Ms. Barra correctly declined.  

The Gist of Strategy 

Following is an abridged listing of the major guiding principles that most "chief decision makers" must know before ever making a tangible strategic move are :
  • Knowing the rules of the marketplace; 
  • Knowing the history of the marketplace; 
  • Knowing the profile of the chief decision makers;
  • Knowing the competitive disposition of the chief decision makers and their organizations; and 
  • Knowing the favorite tactics of your follow chief decision makers.
Regardless whether these principles were ever known, Marchionne should have made the effort of  knowing how his counter part thinks, before ever making a strategic move of such high magnitude.

Rejection comes when there is no true strategic value that could occur from a synergy of two different cultures. It also shows that there is a strategic weakness from the originator of the deal.

In the case of Chrysler,  the F.C.A.'s stock dropped about 10 percent after Mr. Martchionne making an appeal for the automakers to merge on April 28. (from April 28th to May 6th)

Suggestion to Mr. Martchionne  

Regardless of the "no guts, no glory" mindset of some chief decision makers, the smart organizations usually performed some high level of intelligence gathering and scenario modeling before ever deciding a strategic move.

Always assess the configuration of a situation efficiently before positioning yourself toward an act of influencing.

Comments From The Compass Desk
In the information economy, the smart strategist always know that any executed move must be efficient. Each move must build either territory or influence. The next move must be a continuum of the executed move and the projected strategy.

The smart strategist must always estimate the scores after each move.  He must always play  moves in the "correct order", which may mean prioritizing the meta-strategic moves.

In planning, never a useless move.  In strategy, no step is in vain.   - Chen Hao

In a competitive situation, the smart strategist must either secure a strategic gain (the results from a move that evidently leads to one step closer to the completion of the projected objective) or an advantageous gain (the results of a move that leads to the completion of the projected objective). 

The gist of this strategic approach is not found in your copy of Sunzi's essay or your copy of Machiavelli's The Prince .

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