One of the biggest stories and biggest business deals in the past 15 years has to be the announcement this past Sunday that AT&T plans to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 Billion. Yes, $39 Billion is a lot of money, and there has to be a strategy behind this type of decision. We must be able to look at this decision and learn from it. Whether our reaction is “YES!” or “NOOOOOOO!!!!” the information that we take from this decision needs to be examined.
Believe it or not, I believe some of the same principles that are found in the Orange Strategy can be found in this huge deal. What are the principles I see in both?
1. Combining two influences is greater than two individual influences.
-Orange combines the influence of the home and the Church.
-AT&T combined the influence of their current towers with the towers of T-Mobile.
2. Refine the Message
-Orange is always updating lessons, websites, conferences and anything else that we do for that matter.
-AT&T needed to update its image. They could not simply hope to build enough infrastructure or market better. Their message had to go to the core or their problem. Even if they had to overpay, the message had to be sent that they believe in their customers.
3. Integrate Strategy
-Orange sees this as aligning church leaders and parents to lead with the same end in mind.
-AT&T sees this as integrating calls, 3G, 4G, and all other data that could be coming in the future. The end in mind here is all about data going to mobile devices.
4. Utilize Influence
-Orange sees this as creating consistent opportunities for students to experience personal ministry.
-AT&T has to see this as creating consistent opportunities to make calls whether you are in San Fransisco or New York, which is where they have huge issues. These two cities just happen to have a huge influence, as well, on all things technology in the U.S.
5. Elevate Community
-Orange sees this as connecting everyone to a caring leader and a consistent group of peers.
-AT&T of course wants to connect everyone to their network and make the most money. They will do this by elevating every community in the U.S.
Now these are just some of the similarities that I see in Orange and in the AT&T deal. I also see a lot of similarities between this deal and what needs to happen at a lot of churches across the U.S. What do I mean?
1. Students, Children, Preschool and Senior Leadership need to look at doing a merger in their own church that will increase their power to reach the next generation.
2. Some churches need to do an infrastructure overhaul. They need to look at their systems and see what needs to be improved in a way that is drastic.
3. This process of AT&T taking over T-Mobile is going to take at least a year and go through a ton of meetings. Change is not an easy process and it will take your church a long time and a lot of meetings to get on the same page.
4. This deal is a global effort, even though its effects will mostly be felt in the U.S. Churches need to think globally as well as locally. Even if most of your efforts may be felt in your community, don’t forget about the global initiative to which we’ve all been called.
5. Some people hate this decision and others love it. The same will be true when your church tries anything new. Don’t listen to your greatest fans or your greatest critics.
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the similarities that I see. What are some that you see? Do you think it is going to be a good thing that AT&T bought T-Mobile? We want to hear your opinion.