Mergers represent unconventional growth, and that calls for some unconventional moves. Much of what’s needed now is counter-intuitive stuff. Status quo management just won’t cut it. Growth in the fast lane requires quicker reflexes. A keener sense of timing. More nerve. Mergers make things happen in a hurry—you have much more to manage all at once. If you put the company in this particular groove, plan to speed up. Fast growth calls for fast management. Of course, this is out of character for many managers and executives. Over the years our corporate world made people more security-oriented… inclined to minimize risks…fond of stability. 

That’s a slow-growth management style, one that’s downright dangerous when you’re driving an organization in the fast lane. It does all sorts of damage to the company, and it can wreck careers. It also helps explain why far too many mergers end up in the failure statistics. For now, you need to manage more entrepreneurially, making the moves needed to grow a business rapidly. Become a scrambler. Accept a work situation with more ragged edges. Make friends with risk. And in spite of all the commotion, concentrate on the essentials: Think few. You’re managing in a less forgiving situation for now. You need focus. Concentration. Plus a good dose of determination. The fast lane is a high risk/high reward proposition. You win big, or you lose big. Just remember—growth has rules. This field manual gives you a powerful set of guidelines to go by as you manage growth through mergers.