Rembrandt Mergers and Acquisitions: You can’t let the saw blade become dull

The HPO Center spoke with Ab van Urk, Managing Director of Rembrandt Mergers and Acquisitions, a company that specializes in mergers and acquisitions involving family-run businesses.

“We contacted the HPO Center because we wanted to take a good look at the quality of our company. It is important not to let the saw blade become dull, so to speak. We realized we could benefit from bringing in someone from outside the organization, someone who is also familiar with the situation at other companies. It sometimes takes a pair of fresh eyes to get a different perspective.

The results of the HPO Diagnosis were presented last October by two HPO Experts at a local Zoo. In the HPO book Animal Firm, certain performance factors are linked to animal behavior. Because they use a light-hearted approach to a serious topic, it leaves a more lasting impression.

One of our aspects requiring improvement is that we need to continuously share and discuss our strategy with everyone. This came as a bit of a surprise to me, but, then again, I do tend to suffer from organizational blindness… I’ve been doing this for eight years now, so I don’t give much thought to the direction in which we are heading. But for someone who just started working here, naturally it is helpful to be informed about such relevant matters. During our first synergy meeting after the scan, we spent a lot of time discussing our mission statement. We explained the ideas behind it using examples. This is something we plan to keep doing within all three of our branches.

We scored quite well on the feedback aspect, but I’m not really satisfied with a ‘B’ grade. What I want is an ‘A’! The worst thing that can happen when it comes to feedback is that it motivates you to improve. So all feedback that is withheld is a missed opportunity. We now plan to make our people aware of this and hope to provide a good example through, for instance, making better use of project evaluations during individual job appraisal meetings.

We also invited our customers to discuss the quality of our services under the direction of the HPO Center, first without us being present and then, afterwards, together with us. This was useful and fun and was a real motivator. I’m now considering using customer interviews for project reviews.

Involving customers in this process makes it possible to obtain a comprehensive picture of where improvements are needed. In other words, the scan proved to be an effective way to make sure the saw blade doesn’t become dull.”

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