Serial M&As

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Beau White 6 months, 1 week ago.

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    As we have learnt across the modules, people play a very crucial role in the M&A and post merger integration process. For companies that are always acquiring other companies for growth or continuity, what are some of the best practices to prevent employees from facing integration fatigue?



    Pointing out the career development benefits of having extensive integration experience as part of the PMI communication process is one way. For the most competent among them, making them an integral part of the workstream, and/or having them serve as sub-team lead could make this benefit more tangible. And while not everyone will have incentive pay linked to synergy targets, celebrating the achievement of transaction business case milestones could include some treats or catered lunch during workstream meetings where the efforts of the team and notable contributions of individuals are noted and appreciated.



    I think it also depends on the scale of the integration effort. Many of the cases reviewed we are talking about relatively large companies acquiring small start ups and I believe it is safe to say that those kinds of integration efforts will not affect the entire company as new and very small entities will most likely just be swallowed by the mother-organization. If, of course, we are talking about bigger acquisitions I think there is a real chance of the organization experiencing what you are talking about – because when everything from HR and IT systems to work processes and organizational structure needs to be reframed, it becomes a completely different exercise.

    Either way, I believe that much can be gained from having a designated team who works with the integration effort and who has well-defined interfaces and work processes allowing to communicate clearly and set expectations towards both newcomers and the old organization. When people feel comfortable knowing that someone has the details covert it creates a sensation of safety allowing them to focus on their jobs. If they feel that the integration effort is poorly handled or unstructured it creates noise and distractions, which can easily lead to fatigue. Well managed integration and communication is of course no guarantee that serial acquirers will not experience integration fatigue, but I believe their odds will significantly improve.



    In my view, if the M&A activities are successful and help the company to grow as a whole, and people are generally happy working at the company in the first place, issues of integration fatigue may be relatively limited.


    Beau White

    I would look to an amazing example from history. The Mughul Empire, was exceptionally efficient and effective at integrating a diverse set of tribes in south asia “india”. Bringing best practices, associates from the acquired organizations can generate energy for the next.

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