PODCAST: How Mergers Change the Game

Hosted by Pam Harper and Scott Harper | Originally published on Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper®

–What Big Mergers Can Tell Us About New Opportunities —

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Transcript of Podcast:

Chis Curran: Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper, Episode 136: What Big Mergers Can Tell Us About New Opportunities in 2018.

This episode is brought to you by Business Advancement Incorporated, enabling successful leaders and companies to accelerate to their next level of success. On the web at BusinessAdvance.com.

And now, here’s Pam and Scott!

Pam Harper: Thanks Chris. I’m Pam Harper, Founding Partner and CEO of Business Advancement Incorporated. And right across from me, as always, is my business partner and husband, Scott Harper. Hi, Scott.

Scott Harper: Hi, Pam. And as always, even in the middle of a snowstorm, it’s a pleasure to join you for another episode of Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. And if you’re listening for the first time, our purpose is to spark new insights, inspiration, and immediately useful ideas for visionary leaders to accelerate themselves − and their companies − to their next level of game-changing success.

So, Pam, today let’s take a look at signals that point the way to novel opportunities for growth ahead.

Pam Harper: That’s right. We’ve got a lot of that going on right now. And one of the ways we can do this is by understanding the strategic impact of the big mergers that are happening as we’re ending the first quarter of 2018. This enables us to detect signals for what the future holds, and it makes a big difference for CEOs, C Suites, and boards who are focused on positioning their companies to be the disruptors, and not the disrupted.

Scott Harper: Yeah, we’re seeing that more and more deals are challenging traditional boundaries. We’ve got, for instance, Amazon and Whole Foods − which is an interesting acquisition. And this can profoundly touch every facet of our daily lives, and our customers’ expectations. And if we look at this in a broader sense, not just who’s buying whom, or who’s merging with whom, understanding the implications can enable us to make bold decisions about how our own companies respond and grow, now and in the future.

Pam Harper: And that’s why we’re glad to be speaking again with our friend, Ben Gomes-Casseres. He is an expert in the strategy of business combinations, who’s been studying teaching and consulting on this topic for 30 years. Ben first joined us in Episode 91, way back, where we discussed his newest book, Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations. And he returned in Episode 114 when we discussed the competitive advantages of creating alliance constellations.

Ben has published four other books, as well as many academic and managerial articles. He’s a professor at the International Business School of Brandeis University. Previously, he was a professor at Harvard Business School, and before that, an economist at the World Bank. Ben holds degrees from Harvard, Princeton, and Brandeis. A native of Curacao, he speaks four languages. You can see Ben’s complete bio by going to growthignitersradio.com, selecting episode 136 and scrolling down to resources.

Ben, welcome back to Growth Igniters Radio, it’s such a pleasure to have you here.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Thank you, Pam and Scott, it really is a pleasure to be here, to be back, I feel like I’m on Saturday Night Live, this is my third appearance.

Scott Harper: That’s right.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Do I get a t-shirt?

Scott Harper: Yeah, well when you get to five years, you get a pin.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: [laughs] There you go. It’s a real pleasure talking to you again, thank you for inviting me.

Pam Harper: Oh, there’s so much going on, that it’s timely. At the very beginning of the year, you wrote an article that appeared in the Harvard Business Review, about what the big mergers of 2017 can tell us about 2018. That caught my eye. As we come to the close of first quarter 2018, which I cannot believe we’re at, what is the current state of the great business remix that you described?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Well, thank you for noticing that article. It was one of these year-end articles; there are so many at the time. But what struck me is that we’re at a peak of the number of mergers and deals that are being done − and it’s historic − but at the same time, it also has consequences. We have to think about the future of impact in a way of all this restructuring. And the way I do think about it is like you said, it’s a business remix, it’s where we mix the assets that used to be in one industry, or one company, into another industry and another company, and that’s how we get innovation. In many ways, that’s what drives the economy.

Pam Harper: And so, in a lot of ways, it is playing the game differently. It is a change of the game.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: It’s playing the game differently, and it is also changing the game when you do that.

Scott Harper: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Gomes-Casseres: So it takes a game changer to make some of these deals, and I don’t mean just the big deals. Now, my article is about the big mergers-

Scott Harper: Right.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Because that’s what people read about, and we can comment on that, but there are so many other ways in which this business remix takes place at lower levels of business, or in smaller quantities. So we’re talking about a few million, or not a billion. And therefore-

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: I think this has implications. The way we think about these mergers has implications for businesses large and small. And for startups, as well as for sort of mature businesses trying to reinvent their business. Because that’s what this is about — reinventing your business.

Scott Harper: Absolutely, and we’ll dive deeper into that a little bit later. Now, you mentioned that there were thousands of deals in this past year, and there are more now, of all kinds. What’s behind the trend? And what are the implications going forward?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Yeah, so the trend is a combination of long-term trends that have been going on for a while. For example, technology. I mean, we all know that; I don’t have to tell you, but it revolutionized everything we do, and therefore it revolutionizes how we do things.

Pam Harper: Yes.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: So in the article, I talk about how we make things, or how we buy things, or what we watch, or how our health is managed. All of those things are affected by the technological revolution that we’ve been living in for the last 30 years or more.

The other thing has also been a long-standing, is you might call it globalization. Well, by that I mean-

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: That there are multiple centers of production, all over the world, and multiple companies that can produce things, and make things, and think about things. So, those two forces have been there, and they continue to be there, and they come to a head because companies now have to reorient themselves, remix their assets in order to respond and to succeed in that new environment.

Pam Harper: So, what can we see from the most remarkable deals over the past year so far? And what does that tell any leader about finding opportunities for their own company’s growth?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Well look, at this very moment, our listeners who are listening to this live, know that in Washington there is the court case of AT&T/Time Warner’s merger, which is being challenged by the Justice Department. That is the biggest merger, I think, to be challenged in this way, and it’s going to have consequences whichever way the courts rule. So that is a big merger around the area of what we watch, how we entertain ourselves, how we get news. And like that, there are others that either have been done, or are being contemplated between other players, either content providers, or what we call the telecom providers. So, that’s something that’s very hot right now.

There are other sectors that I think all are being affected by what we’re talking about. The other sector that’s very current is the healthcare industry.

At the big level, that is an industry that is undergoing a lot of remix at all parts of the value chain from hospitals, to drug manufacturing and delivery, to the pharmacy management systems, to the insurance systems, and to the government regulation. All of those are being changed as a result of that. Again, the companies who are going to be game changers are trying to make deals that position themselves what they think of as better for that new environment, and other companies then have to respond to the change in the game that has taken place.

So health is another big one. Everything else around how we live and work, that’s what I say in that article. I mean, how we make things, how we manufacture things, how we develop things, how we shop, where we shop, what we shop for. I think all of those are being affected. At the high level, you can see this remix taking place in all these areas.

Pam Harper: So the great remix impacts all of us, and that’s a great place for us to take a quick break. And when we come back, we’ll talk more with Ben Gomes-Casseres, author of Remix Strategy, about the great remix and its impact on our daily lives. Stay with us.

Scott Harper: This is Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. Brought to you by Business Advancement Incorporated, on the web at businessadvance.com. We enable successful leaders and their companies to accelerate to their next level of innovation, growth, and success.

Pam Harper: We’d like to welcome all of our listeners, of course, and especially our many new listeners. If you’re not already subscribed to our Growth Igniters Community, you can get even more value by signing up. You’ll receive reminders of our new biweekly podcast, along with a link to a page filled with all kinds of resources. On off weeks, you’ll receive a Growth Igniters post, a two-minute read.

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Pam Harper: Welcome back to Growth Igniters Radio, with Pam Harper –that’s me — and Scott Harper. Today, Scott and I are speaking with Ben Gomes-Casseres, author of Remix Strategy, about what big mergers can tell us about new opportunities in 2018.

Ben, how can people find out more about you and your books?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Well, thank you for asking. The book is available everywhere, including on Amazon. It’s called “Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations.” It was published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2015. And they can go to my website which is similar, www.remixstrategy.com, and that has chapters and other blogs and articles that explain my ideas that are also in the book.

Pam Harper: And of course, you can access all of this too, by visiting growthignitersradio.com, Episode 136, and scrolling down under resources for some of the links.

Getting back to our conversation. In the first segment, we discussed how understanding the strategic impact of big deals can enable us to see signals for being the disruptor and not the disrupted. And you started to tell us about the great remix strategy, and the effects on our daily lives. You were talking to us about healthcare, for instance, which is a huge issue. We’re seeing lots of M&A activity going on around that. What do you see?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Yes, what I see is that you have to kind of think about the whole industry to understand these deals. And the whole industry, by that I mean what we call a value chain. So in this value chain, the big players are who, the doctors and hospitals that deliver health care, the next players would be the pharmaceutical companies and the medical device makers, they make the tools and the medicines that go into healthcare.

And the insurance industry is another link in this chain because they cover and pay for some of these things. And finally, there is the delivery of these drugs to the consumer, not so much to the hospital, but through pharmacy, etc. There are other elements like information management, data analysis, things like that, but these are the big chunks of the healthcare field, and what you see is that in every one of these steps, every one of these links, there has been mergers and consolidation. Because this is, and still is, at least in America, a fragmented industry with many players at every step. And so you’ve had hospitals merging and forming partnerships sometimes, and creating larger entities because they believe that the economies of scale matter, which is probably true.

So that not only happens with hospitals, but it happens with the pharmaceutical companies, it has happened with the insurance companies, and it happens with the drug stores. So, you have CVS and Walgreens are the big players, and then they are for insurance companies, there are a few hospital groups.

Now, having done that consolidation inside of each of these links, the next step is what we’re calling vertical mergers. That’s the technical term because it’s part of the vertical chain. And this debate that’s now happening in Washington, also in the media industry between AT&T and Time Warner, and an anti-trust suit against them, it’s precisely about this. It’s about whether we can treat the vertical mergers in the same as we treat horizontal mergers of companies allying with another company just like them.

And that’s what’s happening; it’s a very interesting restructuring because how you change this chain will affect how our health gets taken care of, and how healthy we will be, and therefore it’s a big consequential remix.

Scott Harper: Now, you talk about horizontal, and one of the considerations in horizontal mergers is the anti-trust implications, you get bigger and bigger, and bigger, and now you start to worry about monopolistic dangers. Vertical may be less of that. But there’s another … I don’t know if the term exists, but a diagonal merger. For instance, the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan merger that’s being set up, that’s neither horizontal nor vertical; it’s creating a whole new business entity. Do you see that in other sectors as well?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Yes, well, I’m delighted that you have the idea of the diagonal, because I almost put that in my book. I do think that there is a third kind, I’m not sure whether the Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffet merger is like that because we don’t know yet enough about it.

Pam Harper: Right.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: I’ve commented on it; I have a blog on it; but we don’t really know the details of what they’re going to do. But what I do think about is sometimes you are dependent, or interdependent, or codependent with another company that is not a supplier, it’s not a buyer, so it’s not part of the vertical chain, and they’re also not part of your industry. You’re not competitors. Therefore you’re not part of a horizontal chain. But you’re part of the same stack, from a technology point of view, all your pieces have to add together.

A prime example of that, which we can learn from, is Intel and Microsoft. Now, this is an old story, you and I go back maybe we remember when Intel and Microsoft started, I do. Remember, Intel does not supply the chips to Microsoft, or vice versa, what they do is they both are compliments, and they’re compliments that sell into the market for computer hardware and software. And they are highly dependent on each other, that’s why we call it Wintel.

Pam Harper: Right.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: And we call it Wintel, but they’re not one company. And they actually don’t really have a formal alliance, as we might think of it, a strategic partnership. They have a relationship. And so, that’s not a merger, and it’s not vertical, and it’s not horizontal, but it’s a diagonal part of the industry that’s also, I think, subject to the same kind of deals that we see in the other parts.

Pam Harper: I think one of the things that I see at least, is that there are companies that are coming together almost like “mashups.”

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Yeah.

Pam Harper: And are you seeing more bigger deals that you could almost call mashups, too?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Pam, we are on the same wavelength, because “mashup” was the alternative title that I didn’t choose for my book, but it’s the same thing.

Scott Harper: Ah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: So I call it remix; mashup is another way of thinking about it. And I think essentially what companies are doing, is look what’s happening to Dow and Dupont.

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Again, we look at these large companies not because everybody is a CEO at such a large company, but if you’re running a small company or a medium company in the chemical industry, you have to know, and you do know, what’s going on with Dow and Dupont. So let me tell you what’s going on from a mashup point of view.

Basically, they mashed up the two companies, right; they merged them, these are huge combination of the two largest American chemical companies, and plastics and materials. And the next thing, they’re going to do a backflip, because they’re going to split it into three now. So this is a merger in order to then split back into three in a reorganized way, so the pieces of the puzzle, after they merge, they’re going to be reassigned, if you will, to new spinouts.

And that single deal or I guess a couple of multiple deals is involved in there, that single event tells you a lot, because restructuring and remix are not always adding pieces together, it’s also breaking pieces from each other. It’s also spinouts, and it’s also basically breakups of assets that don’t belong together.

Pam Harper: Right.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: And so, whether you’re in a large company or a small company, I think the lesson to learn is to always be on the lookout for two things. For assets that you can add to your existing assets or capabilities and resources that you can add to yours so that it becomes more powerful. And sometimes you do that by buying; sometimes you do it by a strategic partnership. And the other part is looking at assets and capabilities that you don’t need, that you don’t think are going to be part of your competitive advantage going forward, and find ways to basically sell those to other people who do care about them. Or find ways to let those businesses run on their own.

So, these restructuring moves that you can see in the Wall Street Journal on the first page because they’re called Dow and Dupont, those restructuring moves are available, accessible, doable by companies from 10 million up. And I think it’s a useful lesson to see what the big guys are doing.

Scott Harper: So the more we stretch our imaginations, the more we can come up with novel ways of creating new value.

Pam Harper: And that’s based on having a strong sense of purpose.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Yes.

Pam Harper: Because the why of what our company is even about is going to inform the what of what we do. So, I think about the importance of what you’re talking about, Ben, with understanding what these large deals are doing, why they exist. We may not even understand it completely, we’re not inside the boardrooms, but what we can see is how it’s impacting us. What do you think about that?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Yeah, I think that’s a good point. I think it affects anybody who is selling into these markets, so if you’re selling into the pharmaceutical market, or the toiletries market, or cosmetics market, and CVS, those things … that’s your buyer, making those changes.

Similarly, if you’re selling into lots of other retail stores, if you’re selling … if you’re a supplier to Whole Foods, then the merger with Amazon is going to affect you. Now I’m not sure which way, depending on what kind of supplier and what strategies they have, right. But clearly, that particular merger depends. So what we see in the what I call “how we buy things” — where we shop, how we shop, this digitization trend has continued. It started a while ago, and so the standard retail operation in a mall is going the way of yesterday, and online purchases and online buying, online goods, services, digital goods, production of things that are basically all digital — those are increasing, and if you are a seller in that space or an inventor in that space, you are very interested in these mergers that take place between the big players, whether they be supermarket or retail chains, or Amazon.

Amazon is the biggest … probably if you search for Amazon the disruptor, you’d find more links than anywhere else, because everybody claims it’s disrupting their industry.

Pam Harper: Exactly.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: It’s the motivation used for retail changes, for healthcare, for data, all of those. Now, Amazon is not going to be able to do all of that, but we don’t know what it will be able to do. And we do know that it has affected the retail channel quite a bit.

Pam Harper: To me, Amazon is almost an inspiration. Because you say, well, if Amazon can go into almost every industry, what does that mean for me, and my business? What does it mean for our clients? What does it mean for our friends? What can we do, if they can do anything, what could we do? And maybe it helps us to become even more visionary than we already are and to challenge traditional boundaries.

And with that, we’re going to take another quick break. And when we come back, Scott and I will talk more with Ben Gomes-Casseres, author of Remix Strategy, about three immediately useful ideas for creating new opportunities that are inspired by the big mergers so far in 2018. Stay with us…

Scott Harper: You’re listening to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. Brought to you by Business Advancement Incorporated. We focus on enabling visionary leaders to dramatically increase momentum for game-changing results. And we’re on the web at businessadvance.com.

Pam Harper: If you’re finding this discussion useful, we invite you to download our free special report on a closely related topic, building powerful strategic alliances. We developed our findings and conclusions based on responses from senior executives in over 15 industry sectors. While strategic partnering is becoming more important than ever before, over half of the senior executives we surveyed were dissatisfied with the outcomes. Find out why and what you do to increase your return on your partnering investment.

Scott Harper: So, learn more now by going to growthignitersradio.com, select Episode 136, and scroll down to the resources section. Click on the link to download our strategic alliance report, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Pam Harper: Welcome back to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. Over the last two segments, Scott and I have been talking with Ben Gomes-Casseres, author of Remix Strategy, about what big mergers can tell us about new opportunities in 2018.

Ben, can you remind us how people can find out more about you and your books?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Yes, thank you, Pam. The book is called “Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations.” It is published by Harvard Business Review Press, and it’s available on Amazon and other bookstores, and also there’s that book as well as information on my website, www.remixstrategy.com.

Pam Harper: And be sure to growthignitersradio.com, Episode 136, and scroll down under resources to find out more about Dr. Ben Gomes-Casseres.

So, Ben, we are the third part of our episode where we talk about the three immediately useful ideas for creating new opportunities inspired by the big mergers so far. We wanted to zero in on something that people could do more tangibly. Let’s start out with strategy. How can we become more aware of the game-changing opportunities that exist through various types of business combinations?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: It’s a great question, and I’m going to give you a simple answer. Read the paper, is my answer. By that I mean, obviously, everybody keeps up with stuff, right.

Scott Harper: Right.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: There are so many sources of information now about the remix, about the deals world, which are very insightful. Now, it takes time to put aside time to do that, or thinking strategically; it’s a reflection — not that you have to sit on a mountain by yourself and think.

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: But it is something that you pull out from your daily business and the daily payroll needs, if you can find the time. You need to have that in order to think strategically. And when you do that with yourself, and with your colleagues, I think it’s very useful to see what your competitors are doing.

For instance, there was a manger I once knew who said, “Oh, my boss would always send me a clipping,” in the old days of physical clippings, saying, “Why aren’t we doing this?” And now it doesn’t mean you have always to follow what your competitors are doing, but it’s worse thinking about. Why are we not doing this? And how are we different? And maybe we should do something like this. Or maybe they have changed their position, and now we need to change our strategy.

So it takes this kind of stepping back from the day to day work, I think, to reflect on the moves that are being made, and to distill from that the implication for your own strategy.

Pam Harper: That reminds me very much of what we were talking about in the last segment, with mashups-

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Pam Harper: And all these other kinds of things, going into these other kinds of areas. So, I like the idea of making sure that we’re reading in enough different areas, and looking at resources, are there any particular resources that you favor?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Sure. Regarding actual reading, yes, the ones that come into my box every morning, from Fortune, from New York Times Dealbook, from Axios-

Scott Harper: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Gomes-Casseres: These are news compilations-

Pam Harper: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Of news, they always come in, there’s usually one about deals, there’s one about technology, there may be one about healthcare. I’m sure most of your listeners are doing that, and what I would do is encourage one to take the time to think beyond that, and see what the implication is for your own business. Because what you read, it works for another company, or maybe not, sometimes it’s failures that we read about-

Pam Harper: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Ben Gomes-Casseres: That’s actually more useful to learn from sometimes. But what we read about may be a best practice somewhere else, but it’s not necessarily a best practice for us.

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: And so everything that you see in terms of an Amazon, or somebody else doing it, the question is how do we translate that to our own strategy, our own company, and culture.

Pam Harper: Absolutely.

Scott Harper: Adapting, and not just adopting, as we like to say. And that goes to new partners as well. You say look at what people are doing to hook up. How can any leader discover less obvious but highly valuable partners in their ecosystem, going where others may not be, and so opening up areas where it’s less competitive? How can people do that to create high-value M&A deals or other types of business combinations?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s a great question, and I think the way I think about it is that there’s a lot of loud noise in every industry. There’s a lot of things happening.

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: And then there are smaller noises. Have you ever tried to close your eyes and listen to the noises around you, and ignore the loud ones, and just look for the small ones?

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: That’s how you sometimes pick up a signal, which is a weak signal because it’s not overcoming the noise. But if you pick it up and it resonates with you, then I think there may be potential there for some sort of combination or relationship that will be different from the noise that you hear around you. So, there are not many opportunities that are going to be so pristine and so without competition that oh, once you find it, there’s a pot of gold.

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: I don’t think that’s very common. But, there are combinations that may be out of the usual, and so being aware of different partners … I call it partners because sometimes it ends up being that you merge, or you become one, and sometimes you stay separate, especially if the other company or industry is quite different from yours.

Scott Harper: Right.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: One of the things that we know about studying alliances over the last 30 years is that strategic partnerships are often used to go cross-industry, much more than a merger might be used, which is a little bit more sort of within our own bounds. So if you can step outside your core, if you can reach outside your core, through these strategic partnerships, it takes, in a way, identifying an uncommon partner. And all of that doesn’t happen without the reflection I talked about before regarding strategy, because you can’t go into those kinds of deals without really thinking about, as you called it earlier, your purpose, your goal, and how that fits in your strategic position.

Pam Harper: I agree. One of the things that I’ve found useful, and I’d love your thoughts on this, is by going to conferences that might not be the usual conference that I would attend. And there are so many times when people have to make choices about what groups, what associations, what events they attend because there’s enough in your own industry. But what about going to an adjacent industry conference?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Absolutely. I mean, the example we use in our university right now, we are proud and honored to have two of our scientists awarded the Nobel Prize two months ago.

Scott Harper: Wonderful.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: And the way they came upon their idea that led to the Nobel Prize, they are in totally different departments, and different fields, is that they were basketball partners. And through that, they developed a bunch of ideas that ended up being joint research across very widely different fields.

Pam Harper: So step across your boundaries; that’s what it is.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Yes.

Pam Harper: What about creating winning business combinations? I mean, that is so much of what you’re all about. What is a foundational step to increase the value, and now we’re going to say of any business combination?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Right.

Pam Harper: This is like the Holy Grail, right?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: The Holy Grail. So, the book has the three laws, but I think bigger than that is what Mike Tyson is said to have said, that everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

Scott Harper: Yeah.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: The idea, obviously, is you need to have a plan, you need to think about this, and then you have to be flexible. And every business combination, every partnership, every merger that I’ve seen, and probably that exists, has gone through tremendous changes over time that were not foreseen at the beginning. And so when you get involved in a particular deal, or partnership, what you’re doing is committing to changing a relationship that’s going always to try to optimize and improve what it does. And so, plan well, but then be ready to throw the plan out.

Pam Harper: Okay, so related to that, what would you say about what the big mergers tell us about creating opportunities for 2018, and beyond, but especially for 2018?

Ben Gomes-Casseres: Right, so I think they tell us two things. One is they tell us that the world is changing dramatically. Maybe we knew that already. The second thing that they tell us is that you can change the world dramatically. And by that I mean the actions that managers, companies, assets, take in terms of changing what they do, and how they do it, and who they do it with, what kinds of combinations they form, can structurally change the direction and future of any business. And in the end, it’s profitable too.

Pam Harper: Well Ben, thanks again for coming back to Growth Igniters Radio.

Ben Gomes-Casseres: My pleasure, thank you for having me.

Scott Harper: Thanks, Ben. Great conversation. And thanks to you out there for listening to Growth Igniters Radio with Pam Harper and Scott Harper. To get show notes and resource links for this week’s episode, go to growthignitorsradio.com, and select Episode 136.

Pam Harper: Until next time, this is Pam Harper…

Scott Harper: And Scott Harper…

Pam Harper: Wishing you continued success, and leaving you with these questions to discuss with your team.

Scott Harper: How can we draw inspiration from the big deals of 2018, to expand our own strategy for increasing value for our company?

Podcast and transcript © 2018, Business Advancement Inc. All rights reserved.