Counteracting one negative person from a target company

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Matthias Arnet 7 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Steve Schwarze

    I am wondering what people think can be done to counteract a single negative individual from a target company. We are working on an integration and one middle-manager from the target company is insisting upon dictating how everything works within the new organization. He is unwilling to listen to any plan other than his own and won’t even supply us with information to do an evaluation of different alternatives. How can we counteract this one person and reach a fully integrated state?


    @sschwarze – Would need a little more information: What is this middle-manager’s role on the transaction team? How critical is this person to the merged entity post-transaction close? Is there an adequate replacement for the individual on the transaction team or even in the merged entity post-transaction close? What 1:1 conversations between this middle-manager and his/her leadership in current organization have occurred? Have you identified motivations for resistance?

    In general, you need to get to the heart of this person’s objection to hearing other points of view. Resisting providing information to help the transaction team make decisions is not ok and there should be consequences. Based only on your limited information, it sounds as if this person is not a team player and lacks critical collaborative skills, so my initial impression is that I question if this person possess the right behavior traits for success in the merged entity. Replacing this person on the transaction team is one way to resolve the issue, as long as whoever replaces them has the behavior traits, knowledge, skills, and access to the appropriate information you would need. Do understand that, unless the middle-manager is critical to the merged entity post transaction, and the team swap is handled gently, the individual’s attitude as you have shared it tells me there is a high likelihood they will likely leave the organization if they don’t get their way. What would be the impact to the transaction if this person left?

    As with all decisions during the due diligence, you need to compare to the transaction thesis and the strategic vision of the organization post-transaction.


    Steve Schwarze

    Thanks for the response, Michael. I deal with the integration of educational assets for all of our company’s M&A activity. Strangely, I have found education, training, and enablement to be absent from consideration in the course. I am hoping this can change in the future.

    The person involved is a customer training manager from the target company who was responsible for content design and development, curriculum decisions, delivery platform decisions, and all other aspects of education for the target company. They are coming from a very small environment to our company, which is very large. Their solutions will not scale. The target company is in the Developer Community of IT and our company is in the Infrastructure Community of IT, so the manager is insisting that any solution we have “will not work for the Developer Community.” Unfortunately, he is a very vocal person who, when he does not get the answer he wants through proper channels, bypasses proper process and finds a higher level manager within our organization, presents only his side of the story, and broadcasts out that his solution has been accepted. He is completely entrenched in the organization and will not be leaving anytime soon. Unfortunately we are well past due diligence and deep into our integration efforts.
    What are your thoughts?


    Linda Castle

    You have a person that says they have the ‘solution’ and have an internal leader that agreed. Now- who is it that does not agree and how high up can you escalate that opinion? Put the decision makers of both camps together in a room and find out what the gap is. Then ask those two opposing groups to brainstorm a solution that is acceptable to both. This used both escalation and decision making tools. You will need to strongly facilitate the latter.


    Matthias Arnet

    Very interesting topic.
    I fully agree with Linda. Trying to “visualize” the 2 parties positions and clarify the gaps during a dedicated session can help here. If no solution can be found in such an open discussion (e.g. sometimes it is just not possible to change some key opinion leaders mind-set and opinion since they are not able to cope with the new culture, way of working, strategic directions etc.), it might be required to release such an employee since it might be better for both parties.

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