The Tribe Report 4. The Change Management Issue - Page 5

“WE MADE A VERY CONSCIOUS DECISION TO TREAT COMING TOGETHER AS A PARTNERSHIP RATHER THAN A STRAIGHT-OUT ACQUISITION.” Exelon’s recent purchase of Constellation Energy made the new company the largest energy provider in the country. It also merged two distinctly different cultures – one more process focused, the other more entrepreneurial. “Right off the bat, we all came together in a room and had a great talk about what we wanted this to look like,” said Howard Karesh, Director of Internal Communications for Exelon. “We approached this as a partnership.” “They didn’t come in as: We’re acquiring you and you’re going to do what we tell you to do,” said Melissa Brooke, Director of Internal Communications at Constellation. “There was that sense that they wanted our view, so we weren’t put on the defensive.” Besides partnership, another objective of Karesh and Brooke’s work together was to be honest with employees. “Melissa and I agreed that we owed it to our employees to treat them like adults,” Karesh said. “Our goal was to be as open and clear as regulatory law would allow.” For instance, the merger communications never skirted the issue that there would be some job loss. “What’s the point in hiding it? We said the merger was not about synergies, but in every merger there are redundant positions,” Karesh said. “Difficult as it is, some jobs would have to be eliminated.” They also made a commitment to communicate the same messaging to Exelon and Constellation employees. Although there remained some logistical communications that differed for the two companies, Brooke said, “We wanted to make sure that whatever story we were telling was common to everybody. We started that integration process early on.” “Some companies choose not to tell employees the full story,” Karesh said. “I think this works against them because employees h