Why Links Between Business Units Often Fail and How to Make Them Work

Andrew Campbell, Michael Goold

Publisher: Capstone, 1998, 224 pages

ISBN: 1-900961-57-1

Keywords: Strategy

Last modified: July 28, 2021, 10:59 p.m.

Parent companies and parent managers in nearly all large companies are desperately seeking synergy. It is the strategist's holy grail. Get the disparate parts of the organization to work together and more value is created without using more resources.

So why does it so often go wrong? Why do so many managers despair at the very mention of synergy, recalling numerous failed initiatives imposed from above? Because parent company thinking about synergy is biased. International strategy gurus Campbell and Goold describe the four biases that causes managers to make bad decisions, and offer four mental disciplines as antidotes. Parent managers, they argue, must get their thinking right if they are to avoid the pitfalls and exploit the opportunities of synergy.

Campbell and Goold argue that links between business units can create lasting value, but often don't. Synergy is often a mirage. Effective management of synergy demands seeing through the mirages, finding the big prizes and intervening to drive the whole business forward.

  1. Why Is Synergy Difficult?
  2. Size the Prize
  3. Pinpoint the Parenting Opportunity
  4. Build on Parenting Skills
  5. Look for Downsides
  6. Deciding What to Do
  7. Taking Stock: How Well Is Your Approach to Synergy Working?



Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Decent ****** (6 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 3:23 a.m.

Mandatory reading. I wish more of my old managers and customers had read it.


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