As just an aggregate of parts,
Evolves in time, within its whole,
An idiosyncratic soul.
This personality defeats
Analysis by balance sheets,
The way your character eludes
The X-ray and the cathode tubes.
For what we are, on this strange earth,
Defines our value and our worth;
Not, for a man, his ears or throat,
Nor, for a company, its quote.
Yet analysts are prone to make
This odd but seminal mistake,
And think the rules of purchase hold
When companies are bought or sold.
Yet what the buying company gets,
So often, to its great regrets,
May be a useless bag of parts,
Like buying men without their hearts.
Financial analysts are, then,
The very worst of corporate men
To make so subtle a decision
As merger or as acquisition.
And this is why we see the trail
Of acquisitions, doomed to fail,
Abandoned to the Jack-the-Rippers
Of corporate life – the asset-strippers.
Above all, it’s the people presence
Which permeates this corporate essence,
And catalyses, through the whole,
Its special chemistry and soul.
So synergies from mergers fail
Because the soul is not for sale;
Just as, when plants and factories close,
More dies than most of us suppose.