Scenario #2: Integrating an Acquisition

“We are about to make an offer, and want help getting organized for a successful integration.”

When you are planning a major acquisition you need ensure that you are creating the environment for success. You may have made simple acquisitions in the past, or have had extensive help previously and want to manage this one yourselves. In any case, we believe that an experienced guide through the early stages will help set the stage for a successful integration.

Our team helps your organization to plan for and manage the integration beginning in the due diligence and negotiation processes. We help your team to plan individual actions and make decisions within a broad framework, and that is focused on creating the most value  in the future. We bring tools and methodologies that are specific to the need at hand, following these principles of successful integration.

1.    Plan for integration during due diligence.

A early focus on implementation gives you the opportunity to identify and assess market positioning and growth opportunities, cultural factors and leadership issues, and gives you the flexibility to address these in due diligence. It gives you more time to collaborate across organizational boundaries and create a common vision, at the executive level, for the combined company. And it provides the opportunity to choose among the various alternatives to leading and managing the integration.

If you start late, you may miss opportunities to set the stage for a more collaborative, predictable and ultimately more productive integration. We know that early attention to implementation will make a big difference when the deal closes.

2.    Balance integration process with broader performance context

You will achieve a sustainably higher return on your investment if the executive team takes its unique leadership role to heart and if your organization treads carefully where the culture of the acquired firm is involved.

Integration isn’t only about getting all the benefits of a deal right away; it is also about building disciplines and patterns of collaboration between two different organizations for their mutual long-term advantage. So, focusing on the most compelling synergistic gains in the first twelve months makes the benefit of collaboration clear and supports the performance that you want to achieve. However, long-term success of the acquisition benefits more by focusing significant attention on leadership behaviors and cultural assimilation.

3.   Transparency builds trust and speed.

Without change, there is no reason for the deal in the first place, and everybody involved knows this. Most deal models require an improvement in performance for the combined organization compared to the status quo ante. There is far more to be gained from working toward the vision together than from fostering a false sense of stability.

Clear decisions and transparent communications will reduce the distraction your deal inevitably creates, and help everybody involved to stay engaged with their own objectives and goals, whether they be in the core business or leading the integration. Leaders of the acquired business will be engaged in your success when they are trusted to play a part in achieving it.