Never Forget: Process Involves Real People

When examining process, it is easy to forget that process is not solely about product or objects but real people. The realization struck me when I heard one of our guest speakers exclaim, “Everyone should experience an acquisition at least once in their career.” Having been through two acquisitions, I have a different point of view. Lives are often adversely affected through acquisition. I have observed first-hand top notch CEO’s, CFO’s, CIO’s, directors, managers and employees at all levels lose their jobs. Typically, those who become unemployed are informed that their position is redundant. I will grant you that there is a great deal to learn when IT integration occurs. However, individuals with bills to pay and children to feed are frequently displaced not due to something they did or didn’t do that would justify dismissal. I am not making a case for holding an MIS executive accountable for having to let people go. Acquisition decisions are made at a higher level. With that said, we must always keep in mind that processes are created and implemented by human professionals doing their jobs. Central to seamless integration is efficiency and leveraging better practices but, while doing so, we must keep in mind that real people might be negatively affected. Displacing people as a function of an acquisition is not something we should relish nor take lightly.

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