According to an article on Manufacturing.net, the number of corporate mergers and acquisitions were up by about 16% from January through June of this year, compared to the same period from 2011.
One of the driving forces behind mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is “synergy.” What synergy means in this context is that two companies have people that do the same thing and, by merging, they can reduce headcount because that duplicated work can be consolidated and eliminated.
A procurement department is not immune to M&A-related downsizing. As a simple example, if two companies each have a procurement employee managing their office supplies contracts, they will only need one of those people to manage the single office supplies contract that applies to the newly merged entity. The other one of those people will then be looking for work.
From my position as an educator of procurement professionals, I find it interesting to watch my students’ reactions when their companies are involved in a merger or acquisition. A common thing that I observe is that procurement professionals who have leisurely pursued their procurement certifications over several months or more all of a sudden want to complete their certification studies and earn their procurement certifications in mere weeks.
By suddenly increasing their qualifications, these procurement professionals obviously want to get some way of justifying why their employer to keep them rather than someone else. Someone has to go, so they want to be one of the ones that is qualified to stay on-board. While I admire their ambition to finally invest their time in their own professional development, I do admit to feeling somewhat disturbed by the fact that they waited until their jobs became tenuous or their situations became desperate before finally engaging in some focused self-improvement.
So, when it comes to your professional development, what type of person are you?
Are you the type of person that regularly and diligently keeps your skills and qualifications up-to-date regardless of the circumstances? Or, are you the type of person who slacks off on your professional development until some type of external event happens to wake you up and make you realize that putting off self-improvement only hurts yourself?
All of us have the opportunity to make today or this week or this month the day, week, or month that we decide to take responsibility for our professional development and take control of our careers.
The question is, are you self-motivated enough to engage in self-improvement or are you going to wait for an external event to do what you know in your heart you should have been doing all along?
With the number of mergers and acquisitions on the rise, don’t be surprised if the quest for corporate synergy forces you to amp up your qualifications sooner rather than later!