The marketplace today moves at breakneck speed so it’s easy to get passed by and ignored. That’s why quick wins are so critical. Sadly, the pursuit of quick wins often leads to failure because they are often pursued without a full contextual or cultural understanding. Examples might include purchasing a company without fully diagnosing the results of mixing the two organizations.

You might say, oh come on, really big companies take all of this into account! A quick look at the mile long list of failed ‘mergers’ proves otherwise. In fact, researchers have determined business mergers fail more often than marriages. Here are seven great examples of failed mergers:

  1. Arby’s and Wendy’s
  2. Bank of America and Countrywide
  3. Kmart and Sears
  4. eBay and Skype
  5. AOL and Time Warner
  6. Sprint and Nextel
  7. Daimier-Benz and Chrysler

 MarketCues’ research has found that the benefits of achieving quick wins is powerful because they demonstrate to employees, customers and investors the business is moving in the right direction. This builds the belief that the business will get to where it needs to be in a really short period of time.

We have found this is particularly true of organizations that are going through an organizational development transition. Quick wins bring the luxury of time for leadership to address the more difficult challenges.

There are several tips we offer to clients in transition and they are relevant no matter the size or type of organization you are leading.

  • Keep the “Big Picture” in mind and address issues that can be solved quickly within this context.
  • Don’t overreact to criticism knowing it will surely come.
  • Don’t fall prey to what we call the “One and Done Syndrome” that wants to pick one thing to harp on throughout the year.
  • Provide engaging leadership opportunities for everyone, not just those with big titles.
  • Don’t jump to conclusions. Make sure you have all of the facts before you change anything.

This crash course on quick wins has many positive benefits, but as you can see implementing them requires careful leadership to ensure what is accomplished is perceived to be a true win by everyone.